Dave: The Best Tribute to David Bowie That You’re Going to See

Bel­gian DJs Soul­wax (aka 2ManyDJs) have been blend­ing rock and dance since 1995. You may have heard some of their mashups or remix­es over the years. But in 2012 they cre­at­ed Radio Soul­wax, a com­bi­na­tion app and live expe­ri­ence, and went big with a series of 24 hour-long mix­es, all with accom­pa­ny­ing music videos. The most rel­e­vant to our cur­rent inter­ests, and very much wor­thy of an hour of your time, is their re-mix­tape of David Bowie’s career, called Dave.

In the above video, mod­el Han­nelore Knuts plays a very faith­ful look­ing 1976-era Bowie, nav­i­gat­ing a mys­te­ri­ous hotel in which every room con­tains some recre­ation of a clas­sic (or rare!) Bowie record cov­er, and is laced through­out with sym­bol­ism and nods to the artist’s life and career. It’s a con­ceit that builds through­out this phan­tas­magoric tale into a spec­tac­u­lar, heart­break­ing, and round­ly sat­is­fy­ing pay­off, all the while bol­stered by Radio Soulwax’s clever blends of Bowie’s back cat­a­log, includ­ing rare cuts and cov­ers. (I espe­cial­ly love the mix of “Heroes” of “Absolute Begin­ners,” one of his most famous songs along­side his most under­rat­ed one, which now seem to be flip­sides of the same sto­ry).

A labor of love accord­ing to direc­tor Wim Rey­gaert, the film con­tains oth­er dop­pel­gangers that inter­act with Bowie: William S. Bur­roughs, Iggy Pop, Fred­die Mer­cury, Lulu, Tony Vis­con­ti, John Lennon, and rock pho­tog­ra­ph­er Andy Kent all make an appear­ance, along with numer­ous Bowie incar­na­tions. Of all the trib­utes to the Thin White Duke out there in the last week, this is one of the few that will ful­ly assuage the soul. Check it out.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

David Bowie & Bri­an Eno’s Col­lab­o­ra­tion on “Warsza­wa” Reimag­ined in Com­ic Ani­ma­tion

David Bowie Recalls the Strange Expe­ri­ence of Invent­ing the Char­ac­ter Zig­gy Star­dust (1977)

David Bowie Releas­es 36 Music Videos of His Clas­sic Songs from the 1970s and 1980s

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the FunkZone Pod­cast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, read his oth­er arts writ­ing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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