Where Can I Hear 'Are We Ever Gonna Be Better Than This'? You'll Want To Hear The Work Of 'We Are Your Friends' Brilliant DJ
"Are we ever going to be better than this?" pleads a friend of Cole Carter, the rising-star DJ at the heart of We Are Your Friends. Carter repeats the line at the conclusion of the film, titling his final track after the rather existential question. The line anchors the film: At the outset, things look pretty bleak, and no, the friends might not ever get better than they are. But a chance meeting with a superstar DJ catapults Cole into the spotlight, and the question becomes, how much better can he get? "Are We Ever Gonna Be Better Than This" answers that question — the track sees Cole coming into his own by the end of the film, performing a song that represents his style rather than his influences. Can we relive that moment? Can you listen to "Are We Ever Gonna Be Better Than This" available for streaming?
Unfortunately not. According to an interview with Grantland, DJ Them Jeans, who trained Zac Efron in the art of the turntable, also created mixes for him to use throughout the film. But the main score and the tracks that Efron spins, as Jezebel reported, were actually composed by a London-based DJ named Segal, who was also responsible for the remixed Skins theme song for the original British series. (Remember how it was slightly different for each generation? That was Segal — also known as Matthew Simpson.) Segal's expansive discography is available on Soundcloud, but there's a lot to sort through, so I've compiled an introduction for your perusal.
"Skins Fire Mix"
The mellow, ambient introduction for this mix of the theme for the revamped Skins series suddenly gives way to a pounding beat and early Crystal Castles-esque distortion.
"Gloaming The Plain"
"Gloaming The Plain" is a tidal wave of synth that maintains its energy for the three and a half minutes of its duration. Cut from his album The Fens, which debuted last year, it's one of the lesser-listened track on the record, but one that deserves a lot more attention.
"The Invisible – The Wall (Segal Remix)"
Segal is not just a composer of his own music, but also an able remix producer who turns this downbeat track by The Invisible into mood music. It could just as easily provide the backdrop for the late hours of a party as it winds down as an early morning car ride — one of those ones where you imagine you're the star of your own film, and this is the music that would play during that scene.
"Changing The Guard"
Another cut off of The Fens, "Changing The Guard" features an incredible bass line that comes in about a minute into the track. With over 20,000 listens on Soundcloud (admittedly little for the amount of exposure some artists receive through the site), it's arguably his most popular song. And with reason: The way Segal layers tracks on this song is virtuosic, and the ambient, soothing sounds at the beginning rapidly give way to an incredible bass line.
"The Year We Froze"
A fairly recent addition, "The Year We Froze" has yet to receive the Soundcloud attention it deserves. It takes listeners through so many different phases of EDM, and features a drop you won't see coming.
"I Am The Cobra"
The different tracks that come together to make this song should not fit together. There's a chaotic bass line, a heavily mixed, thready female voice doctored beyond recognition, and a bubbly synth. Then it all fades away, leaving nothing but a sparse piano line and some ambient noise. Finally, it all comes back in again, deeply distorted, making you wonder what just happened and whose ear thought to put those elements together.
"Momus, Ultra Frankenstein"
Disco-infused and house-based, "Momus, Ultra Frankenstein" is longer than the previous songs — clocking in at nearly six minutes — and demonstrates a quite different style for the producer.
"Hybrid – Power Curve (Segal Remix)"
This is the music that I've always imagined that Lisbeth Salander listens to in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. At least, Segal's remix of "Power Curve" by Hybrid has that grimy Lynchian aesthetic and it seems only fitting that the original track was included on the soundtrack of the racing game DriveClub.
"Skins Theme Tune"
Probably Segal's best-known work (and with good reason), the Skins theme lends itself to adaptation season after season, giving each successive generation a new feel. The full-length cut of the song is available via Youtube, and there's a lot more to digest than the 30 seconds allotted for the theme song in the show.
While the actual Segal tracks from We Are Your Friends are not yet widely available, the man behind them has been creating his own material for years. Between Them Jeans and Segal, We Are Your Friends went all-in to craft an EDM world that was both compelling and realistic. Director Max Joseph is something of an EDM fiend himself, he told Rolling Stone, and the film is inspired in part by his experiences interning in Los Angeles. It results in a film that, narrative aside, clearly really cares about the music.