DAVID BOWIE MADE AN ALBUM OF DNB, TECHNO AND ELECTRONICA
David Bowie has passed away at age 69, following an 18 month battle with cancer. We offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to his family and friends. The world has lost an incredible creative spirit, and we are all better for his music, art, and acting. We thought we should commemorate his life and career by sharing the most electronic of his albums with our audience of electronic music lovers.
In his 50+ years career as a musician, he experimented with a vast range of musical styles, constantly innovating and pushing himself to explore new sounds. Modern fans of dance music may not realize how much he contributed to bringing electronic styles and influences to a wider audience. His 1998 album Earthling was comprised of techno, industrial, drum and bass, and electronica.
Speaking with The Seattle Times about the album in 1997, he described his approach to creating the drum and bass style of much of the album:
Unlike most drum and bass things, we didn’t just take parts from other people’s records and sample them. On the snare drum stuff, Zac [Alford] went away and did his own loops and worked out all kinds of strange timings and rhythms. Then we speeded those up to your regular 160 beats per minute. That’s very much how we treat the album. We kept all sampling in-house and created our own soundscape in a way. [source]
And in an interview with Fi magazine, he described how some of the stranger sounds on the album were made:
I did nearly everything on the guitar. A lot of screechy-scrawly stuff was done on saxophone, then transferred to sampler, and then distorted and worked on on the synthesizer. [source]
Listen to the full Earthling album:
The music video for the song “I’m Afraid of Americans” featured Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, and was a hit on MTV when it was released. Check it out below.