Klinger: We all have blind spots in our musical education. No matter how we try, we’re just not going to be able to listen in on every genre and subgenre that’s made its way into the rich tapestry of pop music. I’ll confess to a few (all in good time), but one of my main blind spots has always been the experimental, ambient, two-more-steps-from-the-blues form known as Krautrock. Because of this, I suspect that there have always been certain nuances associated with David Bowie’s LP Low that have sailed past my head. Low has always sounded a little baffling to me, like it wasn’t quite ready to be released. So many songs are either instrumentals that sound like they’re waiting for lyrics (“Speed of Life”) or solid pop songs that Bowie seems to give up on just as they’re getting going (“Breaking Glass”). Then there are all those tone poems on side two that drift from one into the next.
So at any rate, I’ve dug into a little bit of Bowie’s Teutonic influences in preparation for this Counterbalance. And after hearing a bit of Neu! and a few other groups, I think I have more of a handle on Low. Still, I can only imagine what average Bowie fans must have felt when they cracked the shrink wrap on this back in 1977. You’ve presented yourself as more of a Bowie acolyte than I am, Mendelsohn (although you have been stripped of your superfan status), so I’m interested in hearing your take.