Bag Raiders

Australian dance royalty Bag Raiders have been stalwarts in the electronic music community for more than a decade. After releasing a slew of cult underground cuts including ‘Fun Punch’ and ‘Turbo Love’, Jack Glass and Chris Stracey signed to dance-powerhouse Modular Records and released their debut self-titled album in 2010. With that, the game changed forever. The record debuted at #7 on the official ARIA album chart, snagging nominations for ‘Best Dance Release’ (ARIA), ‘Album of the Year’ (Triple J Award) and ‘Dance Work of the Year’ (APRA). The LP featured the smash hit singles ‘Way Back Home’, ‘Sunlight’, ‘Snake Charmer’ and of course festival anthem ‘Shooting Stars’ – which has gone onto become one of the biggest Australian dance tracks of all-time. ‘Shooting Stars’ has now amassed over 4 billion online streams, achieving 32 Platinum and 7 Gold plaques worldwide and delivering a cultural impact beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. Since its release the song has taken on a life of its own, breaking-the-internet a gazillion times through a series of iconic ‘Shooting Stars memes’. In 2021, Bag Raiders paid homage to the original ‘man jumping off bridge meme’ by creating an exclusive NFT, with proceeds going to Support Act and Musicians Making A Difference.

Following the success of the debut record, the band relocated to Los Angeles and released a stack of highly-praised EP’s ‘Waterfalls’, ‘Checkmate’ and ‘Friend Inside’, plus club-warmer ‘Nairobi’ and ‘Beat Me to the Punch’ ft. Mayer Hawthorne. In 2019 Bag Raiders released their second LP ‘Horizons featuring singles ‘How Long’ ft. Panama and ‘Lightning’ and a sold-out tour across North America and Australia.

Spending the next few years locked away in the studio, in 2022 Bag Raiders launched their own record label Broken Head Records and a return to their dancefloor roots. “The Broken Head releases will take us back to the club and those magical festival moments. Back to where we started, where it’s about having fun” states Chris. “It’s about freedom, less rules and more fun” reinforces Jack.

‘UR Heart’ was the first taste of the new era serving us a spoonful of dancefloor-centred emotion and churning melodic arpeggios melded with the pitched up vocal sample refrain of “I’ve been loving you”. Huge global support greeted the new single with 4 weeks of Radio 1 and KISSFM rotation in the UK, KCRW spins in the States and mega triple j coverage and iHeart Radio rotation back on home soil. ‘Never Forget’ came next. Almost 2-step in its stuttering beat, the shimmering production plays a support role to the cut-up vocal which is presented on a pedestal of sentiment in this more inward-reflecting piece. If ‘UR Heart’ was the come up, ‘Never Forget’ is the drive home after losing your love and/or friends on the dancefloor. The pensive, fast-paced 'Letting Go' completed the hat-trick of releases in 2022. "This tune is about body feel, freeing the mind and submitting on the dancefloor, in life, whenever.” In 2023 Bag Raiders returned with ‘Love Me Back’ featuring a stolen Meg Mac vocal taken from a studio session, pitched up into a rave vocal Bag Raider style! “We went from indie rock to club banger in 4 semitones and 20 extra BPM. Luckily she liked it hehe” jokes Jack. Fast and pumping, HI-NRG, rough and ready, ‘Love Me Back’ is the perfect reflection of what Jack & Chris are playing in the clubs right now, and saw the duo return to North America, Mexico, Australia and Indonesia for more extensive touring. DJ support absolutely peaked on this release with support from a stack of global heavyweights including A-Trak, ABSOLUTE., Anna Lunoe, Bonobo, Boston Bun, Chaos In The CBD, Diplo, DJ Boring, Dom Dolla, Duke Dumont, Hayden James, Krystal Klear, Moktar, O'Flynn, Partiboi69, Pete Tong, Pretty Girl, Riton, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Young Franco.

In December 2023 Bag Raiders release the double A-side ‘Right Here’ / ‘Saliba’. ‘Right Here’ is an infectious, big-room melodic cut, with a hook that shines through, of which they share it being a, "Straight up and down house banger. No frills, maximum thrills. Cannot wait to unleash. This is an ode to old school sample house. Proof that if you have a good baseline and your drums smack, you really don't need anything else."

‘Saliba’ on the other hand takes a more percussive route with a heavy 70s-esque guitar riff, a track has been road-tested in Bag Raiders’ DJ sets around the world over the past 12 months. Bag Raiders elaborate, "we've been playing this out in various forms for over a year now and it goes off. All hail the kring! The brief here was keep it rough and wonky like an old tin shed. We wanted the percussion and the guitars to be as rude as possible. We love suspense. When the track cuts out for a bar near the beginning you can tell the crowd is like, "oh no, did something go wrong up there?!" And then, boom, normal service resumed now with added bongo. What's not to love?"

The autonomy afforded to them with Broken Head Records has seen a bigger and more consistent output from Bag Raiders, with plenty more to follow in 2024. “It’s really helped us to fall in love with music again” Chris beams. “We started in clubs and this new chapter is all about DJ sets, sweaty clubs and festivals”. That hands-on approach filters throughout every aspect of the labels’ mantra, building out new communities and collaborations across the whole creative and A&R process. The kooky yet brazen new branding and logo, created by Sydney-based artist Nick Amezdroz (also known for his work with night-time institution Pelvis) is a perfect example of this new found free-spirited nature.

Praised for the space they occupy as dance music icons on the global scene, ‘Right Here / Saliba’ arrives after their collaboration with Troye Sivan on ‘Got Me Started’ - who sampled ‘Shooting Stars’ on his ARIA-award-winning third studio album Something To Give Each Other. Marking the first time the track has been sampled, ‘Got Me Started’ has clock over 50 million Spotify streams in just 2 months since its release, gaining significant global radio airplay/playlisting and a Saturday Night Live skit to boot. Watch this space for an official Bag Raiders remix in 2024.

Since their inception, a consistently busy tour schedule has taken Bag Raiders across all corners of the world a few times over, leaving a legacy with their dynamic live show and hands-in-the-air DJ moments. From 30-date North American bus tours, to European, Asian and South American adventures and multiple sold out tours year-after-year across Australia. They’ve played stadiums with icons Duran Duran and Chic / Nile Rodgers and slayed festival crowds from Ultra Music, Splendour in the Grass, CRSSD, Bestival and Lovebox, to TomorrowWorld, EDC Mexico, Parklife, Melt and Beyond the Valley. From the over-ground plays to the underground raves, Bag Raiders have always kept one foot in the club and one eye on the future with DJ sets all over the planet, livestreams for Mixmag and remixes for international luminaries Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Banks, Riton, PNAU, The Jungle Giants and Crooked Colours.

It’s impossible to over-emphasise the impact that Bag Raiders have had on dance music, both in Australia and across the planet. With such a rich history of achievement already in the bank, one could forgive the duo for resting on their laurels and setting off into the sun. Luckily for us, they’ve never been hungrier, more creative nor more excited about what comes next… which is what exactly? “More bangers, more head breaking” spouts Jack.

Social Links

Sat 9.21
SF Live and Cafe Du Nord Presents:
Bag Raiders, Mykki Blanco
Show: 2:00 pm
Union Square
All Ages