Disappears’ Irreal is an exercise in subtle menace. It’s a sound that echoes swaths of David Bowie’s output, such as 1977’s Low. In 2014, Disappears recorded a live version of Low as part of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s David Bowie Is exhibition, and will perform it again Tuesday at The Andy Warhol Museum. Frontman Brian Case shared some thoughts on the material via email.
Low is something of a minor entry in Bowie’s discography. What drew the band to it?
The whole spirit and story behind Bowie’s “Berlin” period is exciting … It’s not something you’d ever hear of these days — a superstar and his friend moving to another country to become anonymous and get clean, all the while recording what turned out to be five albums total? Amazing — and the music and process are still completely fresh.
How did you discover Low?
I heard it through a friend; she played the B-side every night when going to sleep and would listen to it to calm down. She was trying to create a new style of playing bass at the time, and I think this was a record she would listen to to get inspired.
How does that record inform what you’re doing with Disappears?
It has informed us, but it’s hard to say exactly how. We’ve spent a lot of time playing those songs. … We’re definitely making a record that has straightforward moments as well as a pretty heavy experimental tip, so at least we learned something.