A Mixtape For Gus

Right now music is extremely easy to access for the vast majority of people in the world. This is through the use of an online streaming sites such as Spotify or Napster. In 2015 alone, 20 billion hours of music was streamed on the current leading music service; Spotify (Expanded Ramblings, 2017). I myself can’t go a day without plugging in my earphones and listening to a few of my favourites. Music is a big part of many peoples lives and they are able to feel a real connection with songs and the artists who made them.

Gus Levy loved music before we could rely on these big streaming companies to store our library of most loved tracks. Therefore he had to physically press record and cut when insertings songs into his playlist, which came in the form of a cassette. He had to commit ‘to the edit there and then’ and so it became a very ‘devotional process’. Emily Levy is able to find comfort in these mixtapes which meant so much to her brother, 5 years on from his tragic death.

Actuality is provided through the use of the cassette tapes in Emily Levy’s hands, when she is flicking through them and slotting one into the player. We can also hear the play and pause buttons being pressed as well as rewinding through tracks . Due to the nature of tapes, there is an unpredictability of which song may be played next and so the audience is able to get a really personal and natural insight into what its like for her listening to these songs for the first time since her brother’s death. We also hear a real broad range in the music from track to track with different genres of music going off the back of the other. This means that the listeners can get a feel of the type of person that Gus was as well as the way that he made others feel through the mixtapes that he gave and designed for his friends and family.

“‘A Mixtape for Gus’ feels as though it should be the beginning of a short series.” claimed David Hopworth (Guardian, 2014) which I truly agree with. Gus clearly created so many mixtapes in his lifetime and was able to connect with many of the people around him through music, each of them having different stories to tell which is one way that this documentary could be turned into a series. ‘Music can hold memories and act as a messenger between times and people’ (Emily Levy, 2014) which was a really important factor for Emily Levy as she is able to reflect upon these mixtapes in a much later date than just after her brother’s death which may have been too raw for her to see them in the same, positive light that she can in this reflection.



DMR. (2017). 50 Interesting Spotify Statistics. [online] Available at: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/spotify-statistics/ [Accessed 12 Feb. 2017].

Hepworth, D. (2014). Next week’s radio: from Jeremy Paxman’s A Good Read to How To Dig A Grave. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2014/sep/27/david-hepworth-radio-preview [Accessed 12 Feb. 2017].

Levy, E. (2014). Press | Emily Levy. [online] Emilylevy.co.uk. Available at: http://emilylevy.co.uk/press [Accessed 12 Feb. 2017].


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