Album artwork for Fantastic Voyage - New Sounds for the European Canon 1977-1981 by Various
Album artwork for Fantastic Voyage - New Sounds for the European Canon 1977-1981 by Various

By the turn of the 80s, the impact of David Bowie’s ground- breaking Berlin recordings – the synths, the alienation, the drily futuristic production – was being felt on music across Europe. What’s more, the records being made were reflecting back and influencing Bowie’s own work – 1979’s Lodger and 1980’s Scary Monsters owed a debt to strands of German kosmische (Holger Czukay), new electronica (Patrick Cowley, Harald Grosskopf), and the latest works from old friends and rivals like Robert Fripp, Peter Gabriel and Scott Walker, all of whom had been re-energised by the fizz of 1977.

 Compiled by Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley and the BFI’s Jason Wood, Fantastic Voyage is the companion album to their hugely successful Café Exil collection, which imagined the soundtrack to David Bowie and Iggy Pop’s trans-European train journeys in the mid-to-late seventies. “Fantastic Voyage” is what happened next.

Bowie’s influences and Bowie’s own influence were rebounding off each other as the 70s ended and the 80s began, notably in the emergent synthpop and new romantic scenes as well as through the music of enigmatic acts like the Associates and post-punk pioneers such as Cabaret Voltaire.

Like Low and Heroes, some of the tracks on Fantastic Voyage are spiked with tension (Grauzone’s ‘Eisbär’) while some share those albums’ sense of travel (Simple Minds’ ‘Theme for Great Cities’, Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ‘Riot in Lagos’) and others find common ground with “Lodger’s” dark, subtle humour (Thomas Leer’s ‘Tight as a Drum’, Fripp’s ‘Exposure’).

This is the thrilling, adventurous sound of European music before the watershed moment when Bowie would abandon art- pop for America and the emerging world of MTV with “Let’s Dance” in 1983. Fantastic Voyage soundtracks the few brief years when the echo chamber of Bowie, his inspirations, and his followers created an exciting, borderless music that was ready to challenge Anglo American influences.

1. THEME FOR GREAT CITIES - Simple Minds

2. SILENT COMMAND - Cabaret Voltaire

3. RIOT IN LAGOS - Ryuichi Sakamoto

4. EISBAR - Grauzone

5. WHITE CAR IN GERMANY - The Associates

6. NIGHTCRAWLER - Patrick Cowley

7. ON A TROUVÉ - Isabelle Mayereau

8. 3,000,000 SYNTHS - Chas Jankel

9. NO SELF CONTROL - Peter Gabriel

10. NITE FLIGHTS - The Walker Brothers

11. TIGHT AS A DRUM - Thomas Leer

12. THE FARTHER AWAY I AM - Daryl Hall

13. SO WEIT, SO GUT - Harald Grosskopf

14. EXPOSURE - Robert Fripp

15. PATRIARCAT –Areski Belkacem and Brigitte Fontaine

16. SILICON CHIP - Basil Kirchin

17. ODE TO PERFUME - Holger Czukay

Various

Fantastic Voyage - New Sounds for the European Canon 1977-1981

Ace
Album artwork for Fantastic Voyage - New Sounds for the European Canon 1977-1981 by Various
LPx2 +

$36.99

exclusive

Hand Numbered.

Red and Yellow Yolk

Rough Trade Exclusive
Limited to 500 copies
Released 01/26/2024Catalog Number

XXQLP2124RT

Various

Fantastic Voyage - New Sounds for the European Canon 1977-1981

Ace
Album artwork for Fantastic Voyage - New Sounds for the European Canon 1977-1981 by Various
LPx2 +

$36.99

exclusive

Hand Numbered.

Red and Yellow Yolk

Rough Trade Exclusive
Limited to 500 copies
Released 01/26/2024Catalog Number

XXQLP2124RT

By the turn of the 80s, the impact of David Bowie’s ground- breaking Berlin recordings – the synths, the alienation, the drily futuristic production – was being felt on music across Europe. What’s more, the records being made were reflecting back and influencing Bowie’s own work – 1979’s Lodger and 1980’s Scary Monsters owed a debt to strands of German kosmische (Holger Czukay), new electronica (Patrick Cowley, Harald Grosskopf), and the latest works from old friends and rivals like Robert Fripp, Peter Gabriel and Scott Walker, all of whom had been re-energised by the fizz of 1977.

 Compiled by Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley and the BFI’s Jason Wood, Fantastic Voyage is the companion album to their hugely successful Café Exil collection, which imagined the soundtrack to David Bowie and Iggy Pop’s trans-European train journeys in the mid-to-late seventies. “Fantastic Voyage” is what happened next.

Bowie’s influences and Bowie’s own influence were rebounding off each other as the 70s ended and the 80s began, notably in the emergent synthpop and new romantic scenes as well as through the music of enigmatic acts like the Associates and post-punk pioneers such as Cabaret Voltaire.

Like Low and Heroes, some of the tracks on Fantastic Voyage are spiked with tension (Grauzone’s ‘Eisbär’) while some share those albums’ sense of travel (Simple Minds’ ‘Theme for Great Cities’, Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ‘Riot in Lagos’) and others find common ground with “Lodger’s” dark, subtle humour (Thomas Leer’s ‘Tight as a Drum’, Fripp’s ‘Exposure’).

This is the thrilling, adventurous sound of European music before the watershed moment when Bowie would abandon art- pop for America and the emerging world of MTV with “Let’s Dance” in 1983. Fantastic Voyage soundtracks the few brief years when the echo chamber of Bowie, his inspirations, and his followers created an exciting, borderless music that was ready to challenge Anglo American influences.

1. THEME FOR GREAT CITIES - Simple Minds

2. SILENT COMMAND - Cabaret Voltaire

3. RIOT IN LAGOS - Ryuichi Sakamoto

4. EISBAR - Grauzone

5. WHITE CAR IN GERMANY - The Associates

6. NIGHTCRAWLER - Patrick Cowley

7. ON A TROUVÉ - Isabelle Mayereau

8. 3,000,000 SYNTHS - Chas Jankel

9. NO SELF CONTROL - Peter Gabriel

10. NITE FLIGHTS - The Walker Brothers

11. TIGHT AS A DRUM - Thomas Leer

12. THE FARTHER AWAY I AM - Daryl Hall

13. SO WEIT, SO GUT - Harald Grosskopf

14. EXPOSURE - Robert Fripp

15. PATRIARCAT –Areski Belkacem and Brigitte Fontaine

16. SILICON CHIP - Basil Kirchin

17. ODE TO PERFUME - Holger Czukay