Buro 24/7 Singapore Weekly Playlist #84: DJ Samurai

Gone but not forgotten

Text: David Fuhrmann-Lim

Editor David Fuhrmann-Lim shares his tribute list of the musical giants that 2016 stole from the world

On 11 January, I stepped off the plane in Hong Kong and someone in my party turned on his phone, shook his head, and announced, "David Bowie just passed away". The sadness I felt, like all music fans around the world and in Mars (!), was sickening, shocking and soul-killing. But also kind of selfish. Why did you have to go!?! What about me? I won't see you again, did you think about that? No more music? I hope you left a stash like Tupac or Prince (more on him later) did, but at least we'll always have Blackstar.

I first saw Bowie in 1983, on his Singapore leg of the Serious Moonlight Tour; a solitary teenager who'd earned his ticket money working in his family's catering business. I remember the giant inflatable ball that was bounced around the stadium — my first concert! And from his setlist I had to go with Golden Years for this week's Buro 24/7 Singapore playlilst, one of his most positive songs, and a surprising tune I like to drop in my DJ sets. In Hong Kong I went into a record store to look for Bowie albums, thought a bit about the Five Years Vinyl Boxset, and decided to spring for Blackstar instead. Bowie would have insisted that we look ahead, and not pernoctate in the past. Little would I have guessed what 2016 had in store for us.

In no order, the hits just kept coming: Leonard Cohen, Sharon Jones, Rick Parfitt, George Michael, Pete Burns, Glenn Frey, Maurice White, George Martin, Phife Dawg and Prince. Bowie may have owned outer space, but Prince owned a colour. And a catacomb of unique songs never to be equaled (or played on Spotify), so unfortunately I couldn't have Raspberry Beret, but Stare, the one song Prince allowed on the streaming service. Because, Prince.

I was reminded of Sharon Jones when she appeared in Netflix's Luke Cage series in a musical sequence performing 100 Days, 100 Nights. She was dynamite, a 100 per cent belter and the perfect artist to kick off the Good Riddance 2016 list. For the rest, I picked not the obvious hits, but the songs that I just find a bit more overlooked, but not obscure. With George Michael I had to go with Outside because it showed him to be self-aware, funny, true, and it has a killer groove. A Tribe Called Quest came back strong this year with a new album, but I'll have to go with El Segundo, a paean about going back.

Leonard Cohen was maybe the hardest, because like a completist, I have almost all the albums, so where do you start? He wasn't always a miserablist, so I picked Dance Me to The End of Love, a jaunty number to remember him by, hallelujah. And apols to Glenn Frey, who I had to bump off to include a second Bowie song. Is there Life on Mars? Yes, for dreamers, because that's where the great man is watching us from.

David Fuhrmann-Lim performs as DJ Samurai at private events, fashion launches and the odd club night. You can hear his mixes on Soundcloud here.