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THE NEW MUSIC by Bowie's producer Tony Visconti (NME - 12 October 2013)

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MessagePosté le: Mer 9 Oct - 12:11 (2013)    Sujet du message: THE NEW MUSIC by Bowie's producer Tony Visconti (NME - 12 October 2013) Répondre en citant

By Bowie's producer Tony Visconti

When we were finishing the mixes for 'The Next Day Extra' album release, which is out on November 4, we had the daunting task of choosing which songs made the final cut. With about 20 songs finished, the running order and song selection changed a few times in the final month before declaring, "This is it, this is the album." Some songs, like 'Atomica', needed more work and were assigned to the back burner intentionally for future releases. But let me add that I consider the four new songs to be first rate.

Over the past year we met from time to time to do further work on the four new songs for the Christmas release. Most of the lyrics were completed at the time of 'The Next Day' sessions, but David added some extra lyrics and sang new vocals, including backing vocals and harmonies. The new versions were then completely fleshed out and freshly mixed for the new release. We also took a fresh look at 'I'd Rather Be High' and made an alternative mix adding harpsichord and a different ending.

The bonus CD contains four new songs, opening with 'Atomica', a very driving track that could've been a highlight of 'The Next Day' had we finished it back then. The verse lyrics are a mouthful, sung at an inten se pace. At the chorus, in contrast, David simply declares, "Let's get this show on the road, let's get Atomica/Let's rock 'til we explode, let's get Atomica". Guitarists Gerry Leonard and David Torn swirl madly around each other's styles. Gail Ann Dorsey is poppin' the bass and Zach Alford is on drums, slamming away.

'The Inormer' is a further development of 'Plan', a bonus track from the original release of 'The Next Day'. The latter, also included on the new bonus CD. is a short, ominous instrumental, very evocative, introduced by a slow threatening drumbeat with sparsely added instrumentation. 'The Informer' is an even darker piece with lyrics that bring up some disturbing images: "I've got a pool of blood on this bathroom floor/The mirror's broke, there's a crack in the door". The lead vocal is sung with Bowie angst, with the addition of l2 tracks of backing vocals and harmonies also sung by him. Leonard and Torn play hypnotic guitars, Dorsey and Alford hold down the funky beat.

'Born In A UFO' was recorded with several other songs towards the very end of 'The Next Day' sessions. Only one song, 'Valentine's Day', made the final cut on the album release. 'Born In A UFO' is quite a dense piece of music with relentless, fast-paced lyrics. "I pulled into the glade and watched the saucer land/She glided through the mist..." and then it gets really crazy. This song could've been recorded during 'Lodger' - it's got those kind of chords, with a very Andalusian guitar solo played by Earl Slick. Yours truly is on bass with Sterling Campbell on drums.

'Like A Rocket Man' has a deceptively bouncy beat but lyrically it goes to more dark places - and this time David sings it with a cheeky smile. "I'm crawling from the window, crawling down the wall/I'm happy screaming, yes I am". As David Torn takes over from the middle ofthe song it becomes deceptively scary by the time it fades o ut.

'I'll Take You There' starts with the line, "Today, today is the first of May, everything around us, everything alive". It just so happens that David arrived on the morning of the first of May with his freshly written lyrics and sang the lead vocal. These things happen on a David Bowie record.

'God Bless The Giri' had the working title 'Gospel' for a very long time until it was finished towards the end of recording. It is such an energised track. At one point it was on 'The Next Day' and moved up and down the tracklisting, then it was off the album, then back on, but ultimately it was designated to be a bonus track for the Japanese album release.

I am far from the best interpreter of Bowie lyrics, but I'll stick my neck out one more time. 'So She' is a wistfully sung love song. lt kind of makes me feel romantically sad. Harmonically it is quite sophisticated for such a short piece.

'Love Is Lost' is very different from the album version. James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem made a really incredible remix of the song. It isn't simply a dance remix there is quite a lot to it that is revealed after several listens. I tip my hat to Mr Murphy.

'The Next Day' and its bonus tracks is not a nostalgic trip. Every serious artist has a keynote way of writing, and that is what I recognise in Bowie's work. There are several traceable references and elements in his new works; he can't help being himself. The sound and style of 'The Next Day' is now. This is new music from David Bowie and it sounds like David Bowie!

Working with David has become a kind of lifelong occupation for me with the number of studio albums we've created together reaching double digits. He has made some of my favorite recordings with other producers, but I hardly need to say that l love working with him and that I love my job. You know, I just don't sit in the studio like a potato. I record his voice and sometimes I stand next to him and sing backing vocals, I've played in his bands, I've mixed the records - it's really hard to wipe the smile off my face when I think about it. We work side by side, we have good communication, we've been through a lot. It shows, I think you can hear that. I am happy to hear he has been writing and I feel that the new songs will be even more awesome (did I just say awesome?) than before. I just hope I don't have to keep it a secret for another two years.


Tony Visconti had suggested Bowie might have worked on more tracks than appeared on 'The Next Day' and the bonus discs, and even Noel Gallagher was jawing away about Bowie stockpiling more music for release. No-one paid it much mind and it all went quiet until September 30 when 'The Next Day Extra' was announced, featuring four previously unreleased tracks. This has been the year of Bowie - a year when he grasped the nettle, with no regard for his pensionable age, and got down to releasing some of his best music in years. All we need now is to see him in the flesh, on a stage, maybe in a field somewhere in Somerset around June 2014...

'The Next Day Extra'
NME's exclusive first listen to the new tracks

The first of the new Bowie tracks starts as it means to go on, with a big T Rex-style riff that has no intention of letting up. "I'm just a rock star", Bowie sings as he surfs chunky beats all the way to a chanting chorus: "let's get this show on the road, let's get Atomica/Let's rock 'til we expfode, let's get Atomica". The track has the same energy as 'The Next Day''s title track, with Bowie spitting out his lines like a man with a mind full of mischief. The band remains from 'The Next Day' sessions - many of these songs were incomplete as the original tracklisting for that album was finalised - with Earl Slick and David Torn playing dirty guitars and Gail Anne Dorsey serving up her corniest '80s bass pulls. The result: 'Atomica' is a hardriffing brute.

'Love ls Los t'
(Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA)

On which James Murphy makes the most of getting his hands on track four from 'The Next Day' by wiping out the original's juddering synths and, instead, creating a slow-burning 10-minute odyssey. The 'Hello Steve Reich' in the title is a nod to the American avant-garde composer, whose 1972 song 'Clapping Music' is an inspiration here. Reich's piece is performed entirely by people clapping, and Murphy's mix begins with some whooping and a round of applause that soon coalesce into a recognisable rhythm. They're joined by taps of a bass drum and runs ot synth that draw from Kraftwerk's 'Europe Endless' and Bowie's own 'V-2 Schneider' - both profound influences on much of Murphy's LCD Soundsystem work. Soon the beats are on fire, fuelled by great clanging piano chords. before Murphy drops in samples of Bowie's 1980 classic 'Ashes To Ashes'. Some of 'Love Is Lost"s original vocals remain, so we get Bowie singing "Oh, what have you done" as the ambient synths surrounding his words begin to echo Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre and Bowie's old collaborator, Brian Eno.

'The lnformer'
This emerges from the warped howl of 'Plan', a track from the deluxe version of the original 'The Next Day'. It rises up with revving drums and rattling keys reminiscent of 'Station To Station', then turns into something lush and stately that could slot into the '... Ziggy Stardust...' album. "I've got a pool of blood/On this bathroom floor/A mirror's broke", sings Bowie, painting a picture as black as night. The chorus is equally dark - "God or evil/Saint or whore/Domestic or public/I don't recall" - but lightness sneaks in when Bowie adds sweet backing vocals. Then there's a twanging riff that's a dead ringer for the hook from Bowie's 1986 track 'Absolute Beginners', from the film of the same name. That was Bowie's last Top Three hit. but 'The Informer' isn't trying to match its romantic appeal. "I've got major questions/About the Lord above/About Satan below" are not lines about hearts and flowers. 'The Informer' tackles bigger themes in Bowie's oblique way.

'Like A Rocket Man'
Here, there's an uncanny likeness to The Beatles' 'Help!' at the end of the second line of each verse. Jerky melodies and tick-tocking beats pay homage to Little Wendy Cocaine, the star of 'Like A Rocket Man', which is as direct as Bowie's ever been with his drugs references... "I'm speeding through the dancehall like a rocket man", he yelps after a nasty guitar solo screeches by like a close relation of Robert Fripp's work on Bowie's 1980 album 'Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)'. For all its strungout anxiety - the guitars turn to sirens, the drums convulse - at heart this is a catchy rock song, its darker shades recalling The Rolling Stones' 'Mother's Little Helper' as much as The Beatles. Bowie's also remembering his own Thin White Duke persona of the mid-'70s when he sings: "I have no shape nor colour/I'm God's lonely man/I don't want to die but I don't want to live", This is off-kilter pop, conveying a seedy message.

'Born In A UFO'
From the first thwack of drummer Sterling Campbell's kit, 'Born In A UFO' is alarming. Recorded towards the end of the original 'The Next Day' sessions, it is perhaps too cheeky to fit with the album's flow. There is, after all, a 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' riff after Earl Slick's oozing solo. Elsewhere it's a clutter of beats and doo-wop, blasts of guitar and whistling organ, as everything in the universe happens at once and gallops to a huge and chanting conclusion. Bowie is in touch with his lyrical muse. delivering choice lines about a lover from another star system: "Electric skin, plastic and lace/Silver hair, trapezoid flesh/I was so in love with her lavender mesh".

'God Bless The Girl'
This was a bonus track on the Japanese version of 'The Next Day', and is a creepy blend of Buddy Holly riffs and spidery, art-rock guitar. Bowie balances his vocal between these extremes, coming up with pop hooks while hinting at impending disaster: "Jackie's aiming for the stars but landing on the clouds", he sings. It sounds like a slowed-down version of 1971's 'Queen Bitch' that is until the layered voices behind are worked up into a choral storm to unsettle the minor-key doom, and Bowie pulls all these threads together. This track had a working title of 'Gospel', which makes total sense when Bowie begins to thump the keyboards in a way that evokes a Happy Mondays baggy classic or those last few minutes of Arcade Fire's 'Reflektor'. This is devotional rock with a honky-tonk flavour, along the quasi-religious lines of Primal Scream's 'Movin' On Up'.

NME - 12 October 2013

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MessagePosté le: Mer 9 Oct - 12:11 (2013)    Sujet du message: Publicité

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MessagePosté le: Mer 9 Oct - 14:46 (2013)    Sujet du message: THE NEW MUSIC by Bowie's producer Tony Visconti (NME - 12 October 2013) Répondre en citant

Perso dans mon CD The Next Day", le texte c'est "everything around us, everything's a LIE, et non pas everything's ALIVE (comme il est dit dans cet article)
CONTRESENS !  Tout est magnifiquement vivant dans cette journée de Mai, c'est pas exactement pareil que "tout est mensonge"
Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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MessagePosté le: Mer 9 Oct - 15:08 (2013)    Sujet du message: THE NEW MUSIC by Bowie's producer Tony Visconti (NME - 12 October 2013) Répondre en citant

Tu peux toujours demander à Visconti qui a fait le lapsus/la coquille ! Very Happy

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MessagePosté le: Aujourd’hui à 02:55 (2018)    Sujet du message: THE NEW MUSIC by Bowie's producer Tony Visconti (NME - 12 October 2013)

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