Never Ending Internet Mix Tape

a musical exquisite corpse. look it up.

Vol 05 / Trk 05 / Love Missile F1 Eleven / David Bowie

About 20 seconds into listening to “Satellite,” I reached for The Best of Bow Wow Wow to use as a response. I wanted what I refer to as “Adam Ant drums”—a tribal-like beat anchoring a song, primal but controlled, sounding like a small army of street drummers in the subway. It’s a distinctive sound but one that entrances me. Bow Wow Wow—and one song in particular, which will go nameless here in case I can use it someday—probably did them the best. But as “Satellite” drew to a close, I had another thought.

See, last Friday I spent the full day only listening to David Bowie, skipping around his catalogue and remembering once again how he would just pluck genres out of the air and mix them together for fun. Buried on the second disc of a rare deluxe edition of Reality, from 2003, was this cover of the famous Sigue Sigue Sputnik song. I found myself playing it over and over, hypnotized by its beat and how remarkably odd it is even for Bowie. “Fun” is an important word here—this version is fun as hell. It’s TV on the Radio meets Bo Diddley, with a rollicking electric piano and clipped guitar distortion and that mighty backbone that sounds like it stretches to infinity. It manages to feel far more human and less processed than the original, so much so that it feels vaguely incomplete, like a hour-long studio jam put to tape.

There’s a Buckminster Fuller quote I love: “Nevermind that outer space stuff, let’s get down to earth.” If “Come in Houston” is the sound of liftoff, reaching a plateau that no one else could see; and “Satellite” is the sound of orbit; “Love Missile F1 Eleven” is the sound of hurtling home with reckless abandon and total joy.

m. joosse

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