Music

The David Bowie App

On the day of his birthday David Bowie’s legacy reaches smartphones worldwide via a new app, an official augmented reality adaptation of the legendary exhibition David Bowie Is.

David Bowie is more alive than ever through the thousands of tributes to the man who would be 72 today and died at the beginning of 2016 thus making the second week of January inevitably the Bowie Week. Two years ago, he gave us a strange present on the day of his birthday, a true rise and fall of David Bowie in one go as he would leave us two days after the release of his gospel named “Blackstar”. Books, magazines, radio and TV shows all focused on the life of the most important pop icon of all times along with an exhibition which started at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London while he was still alive and took to cities like São Paulo, Berlin, Barcelona, Paris or New York. With the help of headphones that would play songs corresponding to different periods as you approached the relevant section of the exhibition, visitors had the opportunity to dive deep in Bowie’s universe, admiring some of the costumes he wore on stage, lyrics, notes and assorted pictures. Trendenz saw this very same exhibition in Berlin, where a further section was added focusing on the Bowie’s Berlin years and where he recorded some of his most important albums, and words can hardly describe the mix of sensations and emotions as we went through the different rooms.

Brooklyn was the last leg of this exhibition and for those who missed the opportunity The David Bowie Archive, Sony Entertainment (Japan) and Planeta released an App availabe as of today on IOS and Android platforms. This app features over 400 high resolution captures of David Bowie’s costumes, sketches, handwritten lyrics, notes, and more in striking immersive settings introduced and narrated by David Bowie’s close friend Gary Oldman. Nothing compares the sensation of being in a room surrounded by everything Bowie, but considering that this exhibition seems to have stopped in Brooklyn, and while no decision is made to extend it to other places and museums, you may now explore the full exhibit in the intimacy of your own environment in a stunning augmented reality app and take Bowie everywhere on our smartphone.

Carlos Tomé Sousa

ABBA return with new songs

One of the most successful pop bands ever has just announced two new songs to be included in the ambitious avatar tour being prepared by the fabulous four swedes.

“I still have faith in you” is the title of one of the new songs currently being recorded by ABBA one of the world’s biggest pop phenomena who ruled the world for nearly three decades and whose records can be found in nearly every household on the planet. “The decision to go ahead with the exciting ABBA avatar tour project had an unexpected consequence”, the band said in an official report, adding that “We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. So we did. And it was like time had stood still and that we only had been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience!” The new songs will be aired in December on a TV show where the fabulous four swedes will appear under the form of avatars. The avatar tour marks the return, albeit virtual, of the band that in this last 35 years was seen together on stage only once in 2016.

After 8 successful albums, 3 compilations and a number of singles the band split but has always been there nearly everywhere. Australia, where the band performed in a number of cities in the 80’s and filmed “ABBA, The Movie”, is particularly fond of the band and the band’s imagery and songs is there in two fabulous movies – “Muriel’s Wedding” and “Priscila Queen of the Desert”. ABBA songs took to the stage and to the movies too through “Mamma Mia” the musical and the movie, the latter featuring Meryl Streep in the leading role.

With this reunion ABBA are set to hit the limelight again. And for those wishing to get to know the bands legacy or travel in time the band opened 5 years ago ABBA The Museum in Sweden where you are given the possibility to see all the glittery looks, gold records and assorted memorabilia.

Carlos Tomé Sousa

Let’s Dance

David Bowie’s best-selling record until the day he died was launched 35 years ago today. The move to sing for the many not the few did help his career but would cost him his hardcore fan base who would return to him only on occasion after that when the launched three of his more obscure masterpieces like “Outside”, “Heathen” and the haunting “Blackstar”.

By the time you read this it will be already April 14 in Australia, the continent he took to in order to film the video clip for the song “Let’s Dance”. It was 1983 and there were more folk dancing to David Bowie than ever before. “Let’s Dance” was the main single from the eponymous album and suddenly a considerable part of the world discovered the icon gone global after fourteen albums where he appealed mostly to a crowd that felt motivated to live up to their different music tastes, clothing, sexuality and whatever Bowie stood and stands for ever since he appeared with his new approach to music and fashion. Assisted by funkmaster Nile Rogers, better known as founding member of Chic and producer of major hits from bands like Sister Sledge the record made its way to dance floors. But despite the clear funk influence Bowie did not give up his rock influences having invited Steve Ray Vaughan to add his guitar riffs thereby launching an album with the right funky feel that suited the early 80’s but with a pint of rock here and there. The image, another distinguishing feature of David Bowie seemed to follow the popular spirit of the new Bowie. Wearing immaculate suites in pastel colours and his hair dyed blond Bowie looked rather like an northern-European holidaymaker than the alien he had impersonated in some records.

35 years after being released “Let’s Dance” is still a difficult album to digest for the hardcore Bowie fan and marked a period of some creative decline in the man’s career. The Bowie for the many not the few was not the Bowie the few waited for and he would regain his particular fanbase only after “Outside” which followed the popular “Tonight” and the not so popular “Never let me down” and “Black Tie White Noise”. After that he failed again when trying to have a go with drum’n and bass with “Earthling”, when he launched “Hours” a mild album and “Relity” equally mild, the album that preced “Heathen”, the record that hinted somehow to the path he would follow when he launched “The Next Day” and his final epos “Blackstar”, the record that proved that despite some failed attempts he was still the man he stands for for many – avant-garde, unpredictable and master of reinvention.

Carlos Tomé Sousa

 

Top Tracks of 2016

Trendenz gives you the top tracks of the year, ten songs we played relentlessly in 2016.

2016 was probably one of the saddest years on record as regards music, from the disturbing farewell record of David Bowie who seems to have started the trend of singing goodbye, a trend witnessed also with Leonard Cohen who sang goodbye in his own way or Nick Cave who released a record with a bunch of sad songs after his son passed away. Trendenz playlist of the 10 best songs in 2016 reflects this. But there is also room for hope, you just need to hold on as better days will come in 2017. Happy New Year!!

1 – David Bowie  – I can’t give everything away

2 – XX – On Hold

3 Divine Comedy – The pact

4 – Nick Cave – Skeleton Tree

5 – Lambchop – The Hustle

6 – Leonard Cohen – You want it darker

7 – Swansea + Gary Numan – Dusky

8 – Bryan Ferry + Idjut Boys – Midnight train

9 – Pumarosa – Priestess


10 – ABC – Viva Love

Carlos Tomé Sousa

Sónar and Bowie Is – the perfect Christmas gift

sonar-bowie

Should you buy these days a ticket for the upcoming Sónar festival in June you will receive an entrance for the “Bowie Is” exhibition in Barcelona.

Sónar is undoubtedly one of the best electronic music festivals in the world and a good reason to take to Barcelona every year in mid-June. Tickets for the coming 2017 edition are already on sale and come with an added bonus for a limited period: a full Sónar ticket and a free entrance to the Exhibition “Bowie Is” starting in Barcelona on May 25. The association between this festival and the exhibition makes perfect sense, considering the pioneering role of David Bowie in music and the arts and the equally pioneering role of Sónar as one of leading events of advanced music and arts. Like Sónar, “Bowie Is” offers also a major sensorial experience, a true journey through Bowie sound and vision. Justice, Moderat, Nicolas Jaar and De La Soul are among the 22 artists already confirmed for the Sónar 2017 edition. The importance of Bowie for modern music is undeniable along with his pioneering role in electronic and avant-garde music, from “Low” and “Heroes” to his final work “Blackstar” and events around Bowie will probably sprout in and around the Barcelona Design Museum, located near L’Auditori, where some Sónar events usually take place (e.g. the concert by Riuchy Sakamonto and Alva Noto at this audiorium during Sónar 2006) and in and around Sónar Day and Sónar Night. Please refer to this post as we will bring you updates on this perfect combination between Bowie and Sónar as we receive them.

Carlos Tomé Sousa