“I Say a Little Prayer” was originally written in 1967 by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for Dionne Warwick. In the last 45 years it's been covered and re-covered. But for all the versions that exist, Zeds Dead's dubstep remix is probably the one Bacharach and David least expected.
Entitled “Coffee Break,” Zeds Dead's version breathes life into “Prayer” and makes it relevant to a generation that wasn't even the beginning of a thought when the song was conceived. Zeds Dead’s remix essentially puts one line from the first verse of the song on repeat, backs it with synth and a heavy beat, then accents it with what could be sound effects from “Super Mario Bros,” thus ensuring “Prayer” will live on in dance tents for as long as dubstep continues to reign.
Masters of genre-bending, Zeds Dead makes classics such as “Prayer” and The Moody Blues' “Knights in White Satin” accessible to a generation that can barely unplug themselves long enough to use the bathroom. But the cross-genre exposure doesn't end there. By drawing from contemporary artists like Radiohead and Ellie Goulding, Zeds Dead presents a whole different world of music to techno fans.
Zeds Dead consists of DC and Hooks, two dudes from Toronto, Ontario who launched their music careers in 2004 as the hip-hop duo Mass Productions. Five years and one album later, they switched things up a bit and became Zeds Dead. Now they take songs ranging from Aretha's “I Say a Little Prayer” to Radiohead's “Pyramid Song” and warp them into throbbing, hypnotic dance beats.
Zeds Dead plays 8 pm Thursday, April 26, at McDonald Theater; $25 ($20 for the first 400 tickets).
— Natalie Horner