“Where are we now?” croons David Bowie in the single he released to the music world’s surprise this Tuesday, on the occasion of his sixty-sixth birthday, and the unspoken answer is “Back together.” The theme of the song is reunification, in all its meanings. The first new music from Bowie in ten years, “Where Are We Now” reunites one of the most revered elders of art pop with fans who had been filling the long silence with whispers about his health.
ON THE SEATING CHART of the creative fraternity, record producers occupy one of the rows behind film directors and in front of book editors. In recording, it is the performers who are the "artists," as the music press and the people who run the Grammys like to remind us. Producers, as a rule, are hired by record companies to produce in a fundamentally commercial sense: to supply product. The task involves extraction (from the artists), organization and supervision (of those artists and their work), and collaboration (with the artists), in varying measures; the producer's job is essentially sus