Monday, January 11, 2016

"I Don’t Know Where I’m Going from Here, But I Promise, It Won’t Be Boring;" Remembering David Bowie & Aristophanes 貍貓's "Dreams of Caves" (Thin White Duke-approved?)

Rock "N" Roll and quite arguably, music as a whole lost one of its most charismatic, uniquely individual, and beloved figureheads when David Jones aka The Thin White Duke aka Ziggy Stardust, otherwise known as the one and only David Bowie unexpectedly passed away early Sunday morning, January 10th, amongst the company of dear family and friends following an 18-month battle with cancer. I'm not even going to attempt to write a fully fleshed-out obituary to Bowie, hands down one of my all-time favorite performers since I was about 12, but I figured I would at least assemble a few of my thoughts and feelings into an all-too-brief hand-written tribute; a proper David Bowie obituary can be viewed over at Stereogum, which was written by Tom Breihan and served as a loose structural basis for this very piece. Throughout the course of his storied and ever-developing 52-year career, Bowie released some 28 genre-blending studio albums, produced one of the most critically-acclaimed Punk Rock albums (ie: The Stooges' Raw Power), continually wrote chart-topping hit after chart-topping hit, and was even expertly sampled during Jay Z's Kanye-produced Nas & Mobb Deep-slaying rap battle track, "The Takeover." David Bowie's most recent and ultimately, final album ★ was ironically, just released this past Friday, January 8th, which also happened to be Bowie's 69th birthday. Long-time producer, friend, and session bassist Tony Visconti recently revealed that ★ was somewhat surprisingly indirectly influenced by Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, recently reunited Aggro-Rap group Death Grips, and Electro-production duo Boards of Canada.

Tom Breihan said something towards the tail-end of his R.I.P. David Bowie obituary that instantly struck me as rather profound and compelling: "after suffering a heart attack in 2004, Bowie performed only rarely, though he was a common sight at shows in New York; a band's first big NYC show wouldn't seem that big of a deal unless Bowie was in the audience." So, with that said, I would like to dedicate this piece to the life, memory, and decades-long career of The Thin White Duke, David Bowie... Aristophanes 貍貓 is a young, buzz-worthy Taiwanese femcee, who I personally believe Bowie would be deeply interested in, were he still alive or maybe he had heard of her before his untimely passing. Grimes supposedly just stumbled upon the creative writing teacher turned Taipei rapper whilst assembling her recent critically-acclaimed album, Artangels; Aristophanes 貍貓 was recruited to rhyme on Nu-Metal-leaning album cut "SCREAM" and The FADER previously described her style as "music [that] involves rapping slinkily in Mandarin over seasick, glitchy beats" during their Grimes In Reality cover story. Gorilla vs. Bear founder Chris Cantalini was admittedly "psyched to premiere Aristophanes' first new material since her appearance on Artangels, in the form of the first track to be unveiled from her stellar forthcoming debut EP/mixtape, No Rush to Leave Dreams." "Dreams of Caves" features guest vocals from Tien and particularly self-destructive production work from Tokyo-based producer Hamacide, which sounds something like Purity Ring beatsmith Corin Roddick's recent Hip-Hop-minded material recorded with Chance The Rapper, R. Kelly & Jeremih. Cantalini vaguely promises that Aristophanes 貍貓's own hotly-anticipated debut project, No Rush to Leave Dreams will be "out soon" on a currently unspecified label, accompanied by a rather menacing piece of artwork designed by Zihling.

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