It isn’t terribly often that remixes get as much attention as James Murphy’s take on David Bowie’s Love is Lost. There’s a very good reason for this exceptional circumstance however; Murphy’s version is amazing. The song starts with a round of applause that makes a seamless transition into a clapping beat reminiscent of Steve Reich’s Clapping Music (hence the reference to his name in the title). Soon after, a minimalistic synth starts to play, followed by atmospheric piano chords. The whole thing feels much less overbearing than the heavy organ chords in Bowie’s original mix. The clapping and synth lines slowly undergo a transformation as the song progresses, creating a sumptuous audio experience.
Five minutes into the track, the clap turns back into applause and Murphy deploys Bowie’s chorus, which feels oddly stilted and diffuses the atmosphere that he has been building. Thankfully, this bridge only lasts for around 20 seconds and leads into an explosion of drums and a game-changing second half. To say that Murphy’s effort made the original mix look bad would be an understatement – it is magnificently crafted.
James Murphy’s mix of Love is Lost is to be released with ‘The Next Day Extra’ on the 5th of November. You can find it here