An eclectic new compilation of David Bowie cover songs has been released this month via Barely Breaking Even. The specially commissioned collection seeks to uncover the artist’s connection to soul, R&B, jazz, funk and gospel music via a series of reimagined classics and rarities, with key inspiration for the project drawn from Bowie’s much-praised, experimental final album ‘Blackstar’.
With a goal of championing Bowie’s influences from genres traditionally pioneered by artists of colour, the collection combines works from 17 diverse artists, who perform early pop hits alongside cuts from the Ziggy Stardust era, the Berlin years, and more. Helado Negro’s electronic version of ‘Sound and Vision’ is a highlight: the track, which featured in its original incarnation in 1977 on the Brian Eno-produced ‘Low’, is given a subdued makeover using tropical marimba, rhythmic percussion and synthesisers.
Elsewhere, Sessa’s ‘Panic in Detroit’ offers a tropicalia-inspired rendition of the ‘Aladdin Sane’ album track from 1973, featuring saxophone and acoustic guitar. Khruangbin’s ethereal version of ‘Right’ fuses the 1975 ‘Young Americans’ track with the Texas trio’s signature dub and psych-tinged sound, while ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ receives a neo-soul makeover courtesy of The Hics. Bullion’s interpretation of 2013 single ‘Where Are We Now?’, meanwhile, introduces drum machines and funk bass into the spectral Bowie composition.
‘Modern Love’ is out now via Barely Breaking Even.