Wednesday, March 6, 2013


And a nod to the man of the moment...

Enjoyed this Bowie-goes-jungle track at the time for a bunch of reasons -- as much as it could be seen as bandwagon-jumping, as a genre-patriot I did it find it affirming that an artist that major and iconic (proper use of the over-deployed and utterly devalued word, in this case) would recognise it as the force it was, would want to jump on jungle.  Also it's rather well done: Bowie's vocal and melody bobs and weaves sweetly amid the Renegade Snares choppage.  Furthermore I was impressed that the dude had really done his homework -- read an interview with DB circa Earthling and he's referencing Kemet Crew.  Which is digging deeper than the public face of jungle at that time ie. Goldie, Bukem, Photek.

That said, he really should have hired some proper underground junglists to do remixes of tracks off Earthling. Adam F did redo this "Little wonder" B-side track (also a bonus tk on the album).



And there was a jungle mix of "I'm Deranged". Here it is performed live on the Earthling tour!


The next single off the album was less jungalistic and more rocktronica


Perhaps as a Londoner, he liked the just-4-U-London-ness of jungle. The mod-of-the-90s-ness of it.

4 comments:

droid said...

Went back to these a couple of years ago thinking I may have been too harsh at the time - but no, they still dont work.

He obviously deserves credit for trying, and he was attempting to mould jungle into a traditional song form, which is something that's only ever been successfully achieved by a handful of people, so its no surprise he wasn't able to pull it off.

Also, draping himself in the Union Jack wasn't such a great idea either. Aesthetically speaking, mid 90's Bowie must be the most unattractive of all. Even worse than the glass spider era.

Ed Field said...

Well, to offer a contrary view, I really enjoyed Bowie's mid 90's stuff. A lot of the Earthling stuff was always going to present a credibility gamble, but I think he pulls it off, mainly because he twists it to suit his persona rather than trying to adopt the Hardcore attitude.

Also, it's worth remembering that Earthling was meant to be a 'Bowie goes Drum 'n' Bass', but was intended to be a cross-over of contemporary American rock and UK dance music. I think the Prodigy were his template (which is where Bowie may have adopted the credibility problem).

Outside is great as well, although industrial didn't present such an aesthetic risk. Loved the demented piano player, and I'm a post-Tin Machine Reeves Gabrel fan (one of the few).

What's striking is that there were clear stylistic movements for Bowie to adopt at the time, whereas his recent 'going back to the glory days' approach on 'The Next Day' may be partly something symptomatic of the present retro-manic climate.

Ed Field said...

Well, to put a contrary view, I really enjoyed Bowie's mid 90's stuff. A lot of the Earthling stuff was always going to present a credibility gamble, but I think he pulls it off, mainly because he twists it to suit his persona rather than trying to adopt the Hardcore attitude.

Also, it's worth remembering that Earthling was meant to be a 'Bowie goes Drum 'n' Bass', but was intended to be a cross-over of contemporary American rock and UK dance music. I think the Prodigy were his template (which is where Bowie may have adopted the credibility problem).

Outside is great as well, although industrial didn't present such an aesthetic risk. Loved the demented piano player, and I'm a post-Tin Machine Reeves Gabrel fan (one of the few).

What's striking is that there were clear stylistic movements for Bowie to adopt at the time, whereas his recent 'going back to the glory days' approach on 'The Next Day' may be partly something symptomatic of the present retro-manic climate.

droid said...

Discovered some interesting jungle related kismet thanks to a recent Dissensus thread:

http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?13003-the-bowie-thread&p=297769#post297769