Stream DJ Valida’s remix of LA band Saint Motel’s single here and read more about the story behind it below. And if you want even MORE, hear the original version of “Puzzle Pieces” and check out their live session on KCRW last year.
From KCRW DJ Valida:
I remember it all started with a very casual conversation. Saint Motel singer AJ Jackson and I were enjoying some mouth-watering cuisine at the LA Food Truck Derby in early May. We had just been introduced by a mutual friend and were both booked to play that day. Given our coordinates, I am pretty sure the topic was food and music – without exaggeration, two of my favorite things in life. Conversation quickly turned to our current projects and we filled each other in on the latest. I had just recently finished a remix of Foster the People’s “Houdini”, and they had just made the first single from their debut album available to public via their website. It was starting to receive attention and KCRW DJs were apparently playing it, but I hadn’t heard it yet and AJ thought I should…And so I did.
To say that creating this remix was a journey is an understatement. It took almost two months to complete, from the time I received the stems (parts of the song) to the time I delivered the final mix. This was partly due to my busy DJ schedule but also because I was quite determined to learn a new music production software – Logic. I wanted maximum input, not only in the creative (as was the case in my previous two releases) but also in the engineering process.
I took three, sometimes four, weekly classes and also reached out to a few of my friends who were proficient in Logic, for help and feedback. One morning I thought I had hit a wall and broke down like a two-year old. But I was determined! And luckily my friends and family were supportive and I didn’t lose anyone in the process…as far as I know (Josh, you still there? J).
The result is a piece of music that, although quite different from the original, doesn’t shy away from its inspiration. Some elements remain in the forefront, such as AJ’s powerful vox, keys, and the lead guitar, but others are more subtly woven into the final tapestry. I initially set out to make a club/DJ friendly version, but somewhere along the way it got a bit too personal (imagine that?) and that purpose ceased being the focal driving force, and I just wanted to create something that I loved and thought was beautiful and interesting… And if it makes you get up off your seat or bop your head, than that’s definitely an added bonus!
P.S. Word of advice: For optimum experience please listen on good speakers/headphones. The subs will not translate well on computer speakers…Take my word for it.