Unless you live in another universe or parallel dimension, you are probably well aware of the fact that, after 10 years away from the studio, 7 years away from a stage and the not too insignificant serious heart attack he suffered a few years ago, David Bowie has returned with an album of new music, entitled ‘The Next Day’, which was heralded by the release of the first single from it, the touching and melancholic ‘Where Are We Now’, which can be acquired when pre-ordering the album, all of which was announced on the occasion of his 66th birthday, this Tuesday just passed.
As is befitting of such an important and influential musical icon, the world went apeshit and for forty eight hours, it seemed, quite rightly, that everyone was talking about David Bowie. Virtually all of it was complimentary. Some of it not so. But it is fair to say that with one brilliantly kept secret (how uncharacteristic in this day and age!), leaked out at midnight on the 7th January 2013, Mr David Robert Jones successfully repeated what he has spent almost his entire career doing, namely making an impact with his art.
I will spare you any specific opinion or commentary on the subject aside from the fact that I am stupidly excited about the new material, I think the single is heartbreakingly lovely and tragic in equal measure and the attendant video is a lovely swim in the waters of Lago di Nostalgia. Expect more on the album when it is released in March (all 17 tracks of the deluxe version).
In the meantime, I wanted to share with you something that came out just a few short weeks ago, as if there was some kind of premonition that the world needed to be reminded of the utter genius of the man that has gone by the names of Queen Bitch, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke. The brothers DeWaele, better known to many as the band Soulwax or the DJ act 2ManyDJ’s, put together one of their superbly crafted, hour long remixes as part of their Radio Soulwax project, a scheme that has had the brothers making 60 minute mash-ups of their favourite music and artists, set to specially commissioned visuals that centre around the album artwork of the mixes used, broadcast in a square video frame as if to convey the impression of a living album cover. Released in November 2012, ‘Dave‘ tells the tale of, unsurprisingly, Dave, played by Belgian beauty Hannelore Knuts, who is sent back in time to dispatch various incarnations of himself in order to save, presumably, the world, although we don’t quite know what foul fate awaits. In doing so, all of Bowie’s album covers are recreated in real life and many characters from the Bowie universe are brought to life, all set to a quite stunning mash up of Bowie songs, be they performed by him or by others, such as Lou Reed, Iggy Pop or Lulu.
It is, quite simply, and without exaggeration, the most brilliant piece of audio visual artistry I have seen in decades. It is unmissable and to celebrate David Bowie’s re-emergence, I bring it to you here so that you too may revel in its glory.