Today The Thin White Duke walks tall again — the god, the brand, the signifier — the three-in-one trinity that is David Bowie fired up one of the great transformative albums of the 70s, Station to Station. His 10th in a studio, it is now re-released in special edition 3-CD box set.
This month the German journalist Finn Johannsen interviewed the club deejay and co-founder of the Blitz Club, Rusty Egan for the Nokia blog, Sounds Like Me. He discusses Bowie’s seminal role in 70s and 80s music, describes a typical night out at the Blitz, and what today’s clubbers can take from such an innovative chapter of music-making. Here’s a taster…
FJ — David Bowie was always famous for continuously reinventing his career, but did this phase particularly appeal to you?
RE — Bowie’s Berlin years I believe were the foundation of the Blitz club playlist. Via Bowie I found Kraftwerk, and that lead to Neu!, Can, Cluster and Krautrock, as it was called. Bryan Ferry then led to the work of Brian Eno, and his ambient series … All this music lead to the basis of my collection. If you join the dots Bowie, Eno, Iggy, Kraftwerk, Mick Ronson, Lou Reed.
FJ — It is obvious that Bowie was heavily influenced by German experimental groups like Kraftwerk or Neu! How much of them can be found in Low and Heroes?
RE — Massive influences. Bowie is a SONGWRITER. Without songs you have music. The Germans made amazing music without lyrics. It was experimental because of the instruments used and the long, long tracks. Bowie took the basis of this experimental music and the growing feelings evoked by Möbius, Cluster, Can, Neu! and went into Hansa studios by the Wall and with Brian Eno created the Berlin sound. Heroes sung in German as Helden is a perfect example. Six minutes long, but what were the instruments used? Can you hear guitar, bass and drums? Nothing but a long, long tone changing and changing… It’s not rocket science and it is music.