On the 13th of December, 2010, I had a dumb idea that was soooo dumb, sooooo ludicrous, that it had to be made: MERZBOWIE. I took a whole bunch of Bowie CDs, a couple of Merzbow CDs, and improvised them all into a whirling mess of noise with my CDJ and distortion and loop pedals. Then I ran that resulting mess into a mild glitchophonic stereoiser that I'd created in AudioMulch. Then I left it in my "silly ideas" folder, sitting right alongside the even earlier piece of unrelated dumbness, "DISCO)))" (an improvisation based on the idea of SUNN O))) meets cheesy disco), and promptly never really did anything with it.
Until a couple of days ago, when I heard that Mr Bowie had died. The shock of losing one of my favourite musicians really hit me: usually a "celebrity death" means very little to me, but Bowie's insistence on perverting genres and expanding pop into pretty unusual areas had done much to form my own creative practise, and he seemed, for some reason, like someone who would be around forever.
Moreover, because of my undying infatuation with the man (and his art, of course), Bowie was in so much of my music that it felt like he was a never-ending font of source material, an eternal palette of many-coloured hues that would never run out. And so I was going through all my songs, seeing just how much Bowie was in them, and I remembered this little MERZBOWIE monstrosity... so, after first surveying a few of my small number of followers (who almost universally said "release it"!), I decided to edit down the hour-plus of MERZBOWIE into just the most recognisably Bowie-ish sections, and put it here for free. As, I dunno, some kind of testament, or dedication, or something. Something to connect the two of us forever, probably - a selfish need to connect to a man who, let's face it, never even knew I existed.
(The first ten minutes or so are pretty magical, as far as I'm concerned. Harsh, but after the harshness becomes peachfuzz, the lonesome spacevoices actually make it all very poignant and powerful.)
The MERZBOWIE release comes with an additional track, a piece which pre-dated the MERZBOWIE concept by almost 2 years, but felt so similar that I kinda thought it belonged here. Totally improvised, pretty much unedited - just fucking around with Aladdin Sane through a few pedals with my CDJ. Noise noise noise!
Dedicated to the man who made all this possible. Loved you Bowie. :(
“Words like "mashup" and "remix" don't really do justice to Buttress O'Kneel's method - Top 40 pop crap gets sliced, diced,
and tossed into a dizzying, exciting hardcore electro stew. Compared to other djs who timidly drop a Vanilla Ice acapella over a Chemical Bros intro just to move a dance floor, O'Kneel shreds copyrights with a blood-curdling vehemence. Smash the state!” - Music 4 Maniacs...more