Bowie has now released the first single and opening track of his new album “Backstair”.
Instead of being the shining post-post rock nu-skool Bowie we expected on “The Next Day” we’re treated to a 10 minute long, “Loving the Alien vs. Station to Station” masterpiece.
Not only is this quite an unexpected departure from the previous four or five most modern Bowie albums, it also happens to be so good and so interesting that it has rendered the rest of my music collection largely irrelevant.
Opening with an Arabian feeling chord progression with double speed, stepped drum patterns (entirely acoustic to my ears), ritualistic chanting, all of which is delivered with a sense of bravado that no one else can come close to replicating. The drums slowly dissipate into nothing and the track comes crawling to a halt somewhere around the halfway point. Out of the abyss emerges a 4/4 swaggering funk(?) track, crystallizing and pulling the veil from our eyes. It’s confusing, but quite possibly the most interesting twist I’ve heard in donkey’s.
I wish I could say more, but my brain is yet to fully comprehend what it has seen. Watch the video, it’s great.
The death of Major Tom, in the most fitting, most bizarre character send off possible.
NB: A strange side note here, but to me, the track has a very close resemblance to the Underworld track Banstyle/Sappys Curry. I’ll do a blow-by-blow comparison one day.