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Producer Tony Visconti Talks David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar': ‘This Is Fresh!’

Iso/Columbia Records
Iso/Columbia Records

David Bowie has reinvented himself countless times over the course of his recording career — and according to producer Tony Visconti, fans can expect to hear the results of yet another metamorphosis with Bowie’s new album Blackstar.

Visconti discussed the LP with Mojo for a profile piece focusing on the upcoming LP, which is due Jan. 8. Although early rumors regarding the record’s allegedly out-there sound provoked a denial from the Bowie camp, Visconti hinted at a “fresh” sound that’s coming from “a different space.”

Referencing Bowie’s most recent full-length effort, released in 2013, he continued, “The Next Day started out trying to do something new but something old kept creeping in. Not this album.”

According to Mojo‘s report, Bowie’s Blackstar band, which includes saxophonist Donny McCaslin and guitarist Ben Monder, started coalescing during the sessions for his 2014 single “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime),” and offered Bowie an opportunity to test the boundaries between pop and jazz from a different direction.

“If we’d used David’s former musicians they would be rock people playing jazz. Having jazz guys play rock music turns it upside down,” explained Visconti. “Their approach to the music was so refreshing, I looked forward to every day in the studio. Nothing was done recalling the past.”

Blackstar, which is being officially stylized as “★,” is preceded by a single release for its title track, for which Bowie has commissioned a short film. The full-length single and video are set to debut later today; meanwhile, the album is already available for pre-order in a variety of configurations, including compact disc, digital audio and vinyl. A limited-edition clear vinyl version is also available, as well as a deluxe edition featuring exclusive lithograph artwork.

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