David Bowie’s new album ‘Blackstar’ inspired by rap group Death Grips

New song 'Somewhere' also influenced by Boards Of Canada

David Bowie collaborator Donny McCaslin has described how the musician’s new album was inspired by both experimental rap group Death Grips and electronic outfit Boards Of Canada.

‘Blackstar’, Bowie’s 25th studio album, will be released on his 69th birthday (January 8, 2016). Ahead of its release, McCaslin spoke to Uncut about the making of the LP.

“I was so inspired by how much music and literature David’s checked out; he is constantly looking for new things, to listen to and to read,” McCaslin said.


“For instance, when describing on eof the first songs we recorded, ‘Somewhere’, David referenced the Boards Of Canada song ‘Alpha And Omega’ [which McCaslin recorded] as an approach. We’d talk about Death Grips, this band in California [too]”.

NMEJo Mccaughey/NME

Meanwhile, Bowie’s producer Tony Visconti recently said that the record was in part inspired by rapper Kendrick Lamar.

He said: “We were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar,” Visconti said. “We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved the fact Kendrick was so open-minded and he didn’t do a straight-up hip-hop record. He threw everything on there, and that’s exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock’n’roll.”

Visconti described Bowie as being “in fine health”, having “just made a very rigorous album”, but he said that he doubts that the star will ever play live again: “If he does, it will be a total surprise.”

Visconti also revealed that the album will be 42 minutes long and features percussion from LCD Soundsystem‘s James Murphy. There had been initial plans for Murphy to produce the LP.

‘Blackstar’ follows Bowie’s 2013 comeback album ‘The Next Day’.

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