On Remixing David Bowie by Jeremy Sole

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Photo by Kisha Bari

To celebrate the release of David Bowie’s re-mastered Station to Station (originally released in 1976), four KCRW DJs, Jeremy Sole, Anthony Valadez, Eric J Lawrence, and Chris Douridas, have each remixed the album’s lead single, “Golden Years”. Station to Station was recorded in Los Angeles, so it was fitting for some of KCRW’s leading tastemakers to take on the task, with each remix heard by Bowie himself. Each DJ took a unique path in recreating, deconstructing or re-imagining the classic song.

Golden Years Remix by Jeremy Sole

Photo by Kisha Bari
Photo by Kisha Bari

…It was simple, Jason Bentley called me up and said “Jeremy we’re thinking of having a few of our DJs remix David Bowie. Would you be interested in…” “YES!” I answered without breathing.

GoldenYears-JeremySole-rec copy
Photo by Jeremy Sole

To me Bowie is not only an icon, but one of the most unique and groundbreaking artists of this century. This would be both the honor and the obstacle in remixing. I loved the original arrangement of the song structure, and wanted to keep it intact. From there, I would call up some of my favorite musicians to completely re-play the song in my own way. With a little over a week to hand it in, I booked a ticket to fly to NYC and produce the session.

My plan was to not remix, but re-play the song in a full live setting, as if in 1975 Bowie recorded the original and then flew to Brooklyn (or even Jamaica) to cut another take with these players. The session was with Victor Axelrod (aka Ticklah – keyboardist for Antibalas, Amy Winehouse…), and members of Budos Band, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, and Menahan Street Band. Everything was recorded 100% analog to 2” tape. All equipment that was available before 1976. My approach was to take influence of the Jamaican musicians (and recording styles) of the mid-seventies, and their infatuation with American Soul music.

If you dig it, that would be great. The fact that BOWIE dug it, and signed his approval for it, made my year!

Hear the rest of the David Bowie Golden Years remixes by KCRW DJs Eric J. Lawrence, Anthony Valadez & Chris Douridas here at http://kcrw.com/bowie

Also, we have many images from this session, please enjoy the photo slideshow provided by Flickr.