On The Radar: Rare Kandy (Part One)
by Annette Lucero

grandtheft-rare-kandyGet yourself ready for a night full of surprises; captivation is the name of the game.  Rare Kandy is kind of like a twisted variety pack; a little bit freaky, a little bit springy and a whole lot of “did they just drop that track?” Alex Amann and Anant Patel love the shock factor; they thrive on mixing current tracks into beloved archives. They’ll shamelessly throw in an interpretive twerk while throwing a killer set, only to see the crowd reverberate the energy back. Grandtheft beware; our local game is too strong.

Free twerks and candy-throwing shenanigans aside, Rare Kandy has got an appetite for music that just won’t leave them alone. While Alex Amann spent his earlier years creating hip hop beats and spinning for fun, the now-graduate student was also tackling a flavor chemistry degree. In the meantime, Anant Patel was busy away with a financial degree; the fall of his senior year saw him trying DJing for fun. Eventually, the duo crossed paths in 2012 on Valentine’s Day; we know, it had to have been love at first sight. While their first collaborative set was for Timeflies in 2013, Rare Kandy was still the occasional collaboration between Alex Amann’s “CFANS” monker and Anant Patel’s “Palladium” persona. 2015 saw the debut of Rare Kandy, and as they’ll tell anyone themselves, it’s been a hell of a balancing act.

Anant: When we were first starting out [DJing], there seemed to be a struggle to get noticed; there wasn’t a lot of cross-booking between promotion companies, and Alex and I did a great job of balancing that. I think there is something to be said about fostering relationships with companies and fans alike, and supporting the scene as a whole in order to show that you really want the scene to move forward. I feel like it should be just be one open system [between locals] in support of the music that everyone loves; that’s what we try to do.

Alex: As a brand, we wanted Rare Kandy to just be more than a local constrained to one demographic; we wanted to be an entity [and a brand] that would grow. I have my friends in a certain company, but that doesn’t mean I’m not cool with everyone else. I like to keep my ties with a company completely separate from the music part, because my involvement with companies are more for my interests in the scene and the music in general; I am a fan as well. From an artist’s standpoint, I don’t like tying [Rare Kandy] to one specific thing. And since [we’ve moved] away from CFANS and PALLADIUM, it’s been a more universal appeal where everyone books us and beyond; the point was to not constrain to the local scene, but rather become this thing that people are drawn to, like what Boombox Cartel did. They became Boombox Cartel; they were everywhere.

What’s more, Rare Kandy’s Alex Amann and Anant Patel are some of the most genuine character’s representing Minneapolis’ scene. The duo welcomes the idea of working with other artists and pushing creative boundaries; they don’t want to only curate one style. SWEET TOOTH VOLUME 2 showcases their personalities evidently, as the mix-based series showcases unreleased tracks and what they’re dancing to. As for guest mixes featured on Sweet Tooth, Rare Kandy is pretty open to it. The goal is to create an open space and an open platform for other up-and-comers to gain exposure and practice.

Alex: We’re using SWEET TOOTH as a no-hassle way to put out music for people to enjoy. Like personally, the SWEET TOOTH VOLUME 2 we have coming out, I listen to that every day, if not every other day because it’s something I enjoy. If it gets a following, it turns into a podcast; it’s intermittent, “one month this”, “one month that”; like before a big show, people can pregame to it.
Anant: It’s not one of those things with a set deadline, it’s more like “Oh well time to make a new mix” and it’s a cool way to tease out what we’ve made.
Alex: And a cool way to see how [our tracks] sound in comparison to other tracks that we like.

Rare Kandy’s 2015 debut is just the beginning. One could go on about their mixing capabilities and eye-brow raising production style; they make throwback look good. However, we just recommend fans getting to the LOFT early tonight; this is an energy boost you don’t want to miss.

Written by Annette Lucero