I think of Bowie’s instrumentals, at least on “Heroes,” as contributing to the album’s overall ominous sense of dread. That’s not necessarily fair, and “Moss Garden” certainly doesn’t do that. You can easily imagine this playing in the background at a spa. Its relaxing and evocative of its name, or at least the name seems to make sense.
Dylan Howe is yet another musician I didn’t know about before this project. He is a professional from a musical family and, as far as I can tell, is mainly known as a drummer in the jazz genre, but he has also taken a special interest in Bowie. Howe formed a group called, “Dylan Howe and the Subterraneans” (referencing another Bowie composition) and both performed Bowie’s Berlin-era instrumentals live and recorded an album, “Subterranean – New Designs on Bowie’s Berlin.” I’m assuming this piece is from that album (I might try to track it down).
My initial reaction upon hearing this was that it is so similar to the original that it doesn’t really add much. But that inspired me to listen to Bowie’s version again, and the two do sound different. Bowie’s version sounds both more Asian and more synthy, whereas this version again sounds more like what you’d hear while waiting in a spa to get a massage, wearing a terrycloth robe, drinking green tea.