Former LCD Soundsystem leader James Murphy has been listening to Bowie's music since he was a child, and he finally got an opportunity to collaborate with his hero when he was asked to remix this song for the Thin White Duke's The Next Day Extra
album. The end result, "Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA)" is a complete transformation in which Murphy wipes out the original's juddering synths, and instead creates a slow-burn, slow-build odyssey that runs for ten minutes.
Murphy's mix starts with a round of applause which, after 15 seconds, becomes a syncopated clapping rhythm. It's a nod to Steve Reich's 1972 piece, "Clapping Music," that is also referenced in the title. The American avant-garde composer's work consists entirely of two performers clapping.
Whilst premiering the remix via BBC 6music, Murphy said: "Any remix I've done I almost never use any of the original music. The challenge for me is to create a new track that serves the vocal in a different way but doesn't make the vocal seem pasted on. It's been many years since I've done a remix, so no matter who it was for I would've been stressed out."
Murphy directs his hero worship back to Bowie, by dropping in samples of his 1980 classic, "Ashes To Ashes
." He told NME
: "The reference to 'Ashes To Ashes' was my idea. I'm only realizing now that his record is so self-reverential. I didn't think of that in the grand scheme. I was just worried he'd get angry."
Murphy also collaborated with Bowie around the same time when the British legend supplied backing vocals to the Arcade Fire track "Reflektor
," which the LCD Soundsystem mainman produced.