DJ Music Remixes Writing

Broken Bells – Holing On For Life (Zed’s Dead Remix)

When I came to we were clearly in a post Apocalyptic place. It was a weird sensation because I kept looking at my cloths and I could tell this wasn’t all real because they weren’t mine. I was in a ’70 style stripe top and jeans and looked like I just walked through a dust storm. I was with P which made feel calmer. He always makes me feel calmer. I had never been here before but we started to walk around like we knew where we were going. The town all seemed to be covered in this reddish, chalky dust. I was walking a step behind him down a narrow allow way which was just tall, old grey brick walls and little European style facades.

As we emerged from the alley to the main strip on our way to a cafe, we stopped by the kids putting up fresh graffiti. It was in another language, almost alien looking and we never saw their faces. They just kept going. One of them had a speaker in his pocket where you could hear the muffled sound of NWA’s “Gangster Gangster“. I thought quickly about my friend E. We sang that song in high school when we got stoned in the car. We heard someone coming so P and I started running for the downhill cobble street leading to the cafe. It was only then I realised the sky was orange. All over orange.

Even though I was fully aware this wasn’t real at this point, I kept worrying about work I needed to do. I was thinking about work in a place like this. In a shirt that I don’t own. On a planet with an orange sky. But yes, I was thinking about how to format an excel comparing something unimportant. Here, it didn’t exist. I kept reaching for P’s hand grasping it and slipping out. Holding for life.

We got to the cafe, and the food was all neon blue, which apparently was the norm. People sought refuge here. The world or maybe just this town had recently gone through something recently, making this a place where you saw people with everything they owned. Which was no more than two or three knapsacks full of their wordily goods. Clothes and some framed pictures. A couple books. It is weird. Even here you see what people grab when they can only take what they feel that cannot live without. Which in the end, is still little.

I ordered a black coffee and the waitress who also didn’t have a face, or one that I could see gave off the impression she was confused by my order. She brought me a cup of red coffee a few minutes later. I reached out for P’s hand as my stomach turned a bit, like when you miss a step. And took a sip of the red coffee. He started to say something and I strained to hear it as I was getting distracted by his dimples.

And then I woke up. I hope it wasn’t important.


Oddly, this dream made me think of the music video for this song. The original by Broken Bells, which is the combined awesomeness of James Mercer and Brian Burton, or the lead singer of The Shins and Danger Mouse. I find his voice haunting and comforting and the music is always whimsical and something dark, sexy. This remix from Zed’s Dead also packs on an extra layer of electronic edge. The beat changes under the chorus, “holding on for life” and it is nearly the pace of a racing heart. Pounding through the vocals and your chest.

Broken Bells – Holding On For Life (Zed’s Dead Remix)


SBTRKT – Never Never (Featuring Sampha)


How does it feel to be part of a class that is known to be notoriously self-focused, procrastinate inevitable adulthood and have a devastatingly insatiable appetite for change? These sweeping generalisations don’t help either. As I killed time this week at an office job (I loath), I binge watched TED talks. This is nearly as detrimental as listening to the 4-Hour Work Week at your desk, which I did during my first week of work at a real office job on Wall Street one week after graduating university. Something that has come up in multiple TED talks are topics like “How 30 is not the new 20“, and we should not be procrastinating our lives asking for more time to soul search or explore our career options or partners. Or the traits of a healthy relationship, somehow can be matched to if you smiled in pictures as child and you should also be able to find a great person, not the perfect person.

The irony of all of this guidance aimed at our peer group is that we are living products of what was created. We got gold stars in school, so we strive for all gold stars. We were told we can be whoever we want, and when we don’t get it, we are left unsatisfied, in our cubicle on Wall Street or in Oxford Circus, going home where are schedules are loosely dictated by TiVo. We can create our images and morph them as we see fit, yet we are constantly recreating ourselves in real life each day as we are influenced by the millions of images we see of friends in cooler places, of ex lovers and their new lovers, of inspiring quotes printed over images which really at the end of the day, leave us wanting more beautiful things to look at from the windows of our life. We are a generation which has accumulated more debt and come in to the world at a time of war and poor economics and been told we are the group who doesn’t work enough and are unsatisfied with life.

The truth about that first sentence is that it hurts because it is a bit true. In some small truth or another. I made a list of things to accomplish when I was 8, and I recently ticked off the last one. Now what? I moved across the world for someone and they want to move? Now where? I am not rich, but I make more than I need and still feel like so much of the world is out of my reach, so what do I have left? I had a conversation with my darling today. She put it in a way I thought made sense, atleast it may for some of us. “We are taught to be independent and when things settle or we have someone we can lean on, we don’t know what to do.” It is hard to break the drive, to put on brakes when we get close to those things we were raised to aim for. In love and life. The perfect mate. The job. The friends. When do you stop? The key is identifying the difference between satisfaction and gratitude. I think most people can collectively say they are grateful, we are grateful, for the fruits of life. But we are still left searching for the meat.

We want to be satisfied, and not being able to be satisfied is a big worry. Envying those who have purchased furniture for their place they plan to stay in, or making commitments a year in advance, or being able to see yourself old next to the person you are in bed with, finally unpacking.

This song spoke to me for that. The opening verse, the way I interpreted it, says all of this, more eloquently put. But it is hard to sort yourself out, it’s hard to talk about it when the problems we face and are struggling to understand are what we are generalised to be like and worry about. Thinking of our personal journey, thinking of our personal satisfaction. Wanting more.

“It’s complicated when you gravitate towards yourself
On the other hand it’s hard to talk to anyone else
You can’t help, can’t help where your mind goes”

SBTRKT – Never Never (Feat. Sampha)


Sam Smith – Stay With Me (Black Space Remix)

This song feels like a gospel. And this is the time for a gospel. A saving grace in music. Some reassurance that the music industry is not just filled with foxes who sound ‘really great’ when auto-tuned or spewing words that resemble more of what we wrote to our crushes in passed notes from our training bras and back seats.

You half expect this song to come with a choir in the back singing behind him smoothly, resonating emotion and hope and praise. Dawning hair which is reminiscent of  doo-wop singers, the singer’s English upbringing clearly oozes from his dapper and polished attire and presence. I appreciate this though. Bring back the days of the Rat Pack and tailored suits.

Sam Smith, a somewhat newer face in the past year, was been awarded top honours this past year for being the bright rising star in the UK. He has been breaking hearts with his music and moving us to dance and to breath in his sweet voice with each release of a new track or mix. His debut album will be released at the end of this month titled, “In the Lonely Hour” and can only promise to deliver more.

This edit is nothing to look over from Black Space, a 19-year old producer from Geneva, Switzerland. Influences for this young lad stem from the musical styles of Kygo (clearly heard in this mix). What gives me chills in this song is when you hear the flutes come through with the consistent piano. The tone feels almost like that of an Arcade Fire track simply filed with a sound which I can only describe as “hopeful”.


Sam Smith – Stay With Me (Black Space Edit)