“No Texting on the Dance Floor” by Zachery Allan Starkey
Zachery Allan Starkey has released a brand new single and music video. The New York City based Composer/Producer’s new single follows previous releases “Force” and “Fear City” both featuring Bernard Sumner of New Order and Joy Division fame.
“No Texting on the Dance Floor” is the second of three non album singles preceding the release of an expanded physical edition of Starkey’s album FEAR CITY. Composed and produced by Starkey, and featuring collaborations with Bernard Sumner (New Order / Joy Division), FEAR CITY is Starkey’s long running audio/visual project documenting life in New York City over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. Starkey’s previous FEAR CITY singles and videos, including “Force (ft. Bernard Sumner)”, “Fear City (ft. Bernard Sumner)”, “Solitaire”, “XXX”, “Bright Future”, and “No Security” capture a vivid, stark, chaotic portrait of NYC in an economic and social crisis.
“New York is a sex sewer: blood in the streets,” sings Starkey over the sinous Electro meets Disco House groove of “No Texting on the Dance Floor”, perfectly encapsulating New York’s current hedonistic nightlife renaissance and alarming crime wave, bringing Starkey’s FEAR CITY narrative into 2022. Starkey has deep roots in the Brooklyn club scene, having co-founded the influential queer Techno party C//TY CLUB with fellow Producer/DJ’s Lauren Flax and Gavilán Rayna Russom. This experience shows in Starkey’s production on “No Texting on the Dance Floor”, which sees Starkey using hardware synthesizers to combine the Techno edge of his earlier FEAR CITY productions with glittering Disco synth sheen, House piano hooks, and pop songwriting. Starkey elaborates on how New York inspired him to write “No Texting on the Dance Floor”:
“I’ve not set foot outside of New York City in three years, I’ve been in NYC during the course of the entire pandemic. The economic collapse, the lockdowns, the civil rights protest marches, the late night riots, blocks of boarded up buildings, looters setting 34th Street on fire…I witnessed it all in person. I’ve tried to document this grim and historic period in New York in the FEAR CITY project. While New York is currently dealing with a crimewave, subway assaults, record unemployment, and income inequality, I have also seen incredible, beautiful acts of humanity, joy, and connection. I think the pandemic showed how important nightlife is to New York. Since we reopened a year ago, the clubs, the parties, the raves, the bars, the shows are the most exciting they have been in years, and I’ve been playing some of the best live shows I’ve ever played. People are so passionate about nightlife and music right now. I’ve tried to put all of these incredible recent experiences into “No Texting on the Dance Floor”. I’ve had the basic bass groove and chorus forever, for years this was an unreleased song I’d play for an encore, but the present state of post pandemic New York nightlife is what inspired me to write new lyrics, add Disco and House vibes to the song, and properly produce a new, definitive version. “No Texting on the Dance Floor” is also about the importance of personal connection. Stop being glued to your phone, stop ignoring the people around you. Be present, dance and connect with people on the dance floor. Celebrate community and connection. The song is serious, but it’s also a bit cheeky, winking at the listener, and that’s why Steven and I made a fun music video for it. After all, ultimately, dancing and nightclubbing is about a good time and connection. I recorded the track in Downtown Brooklyn in 2022 with my friend and longtime engineer Jon Chinn, we had so much fun recording it.”
Shot entirely in NYC, the “No Texting on the Dance Floor” music video is directed, photographed, and edited by director Steven Celestin, in collaboration with Starkey. Celestin filmed the dynamic studio footage and designed the lighting and coloring, while Starkey shot the documentary New York cityscape and nightclub footage. Celestin also collaborated with Starkey on three previous FEAR CITY music videos: “Solitaire”, “Bright Future”, and “Coked Up Biker Anthem”, which was remixed for single release by legendary Berlin producer Mark Reeder.
“No Texting on the Dance Floor” is composed and performed by Zachery Allan Starkey, produced by Zachery Allan Starkey and Jon Chinn, mixed by Jon Chinn and Zachery Allan Starkey, and recorded, engineered, and mastered by Jon Chinn. The single is released by DeathTrip NYC and administered by Mill Rock.
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