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Sunday, 16 December, 2001, 17:08 GMT
Bowie quits record company
David Bowie
Bowie has set up an online bank and radio station
David Bowie has taken the unorthodox step of refusing to re-sign with his record company, Virgin.

The London-born singer, considered to be one of the most influential musicians in popular music, has decided instead to create his own small, independent label.

I want to keep the whole experience at a human level

David Bowie
The announcement was made on David Bowie's website.

On Thursday Bowie's management company, RZO, sent a letter to Virgin records, stating: "We respectfully decline your attempts to negotiate a new contract in light of the missed option pick-up of a year ago."

All future recordings, including a new album he is recording with long-time collaborator Tony Visconti, will be released on ISO, his new label.

'Bumping heads'

Bowie said he had tired of the bureaucracy and management structure of large record companies.

He said: "I've had one too many years of bumping heads with corporate structure.

"Many times I've not been in agreement with how things are done and as a writer of some proliferation, frustrated at how slow and lumbering it all is. I've dreamed of embarking on my own set-up for such a long time and now is the perfect opportunity."

He added: " I want to keep the whole experience at a human level.

"To characterize ISO, I think I would use guitarist Robert Fripp's phrase and describe it as aiming to be 'a small, mobile, intelligent unit'."

David Bowie has long been one of Britain's most independent and pioneering musicians, releasing songs on the internet long before it was fashionable and even setting up his own online radio station and bank.

His decision to part company with Virgin will not surprise many fans, given his penchant for changing direction.

He killed off Ziggy Stardust, a major influence on glam rock, and followed him up with Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke.

He experimented with ambient music in the late 1970s and also delved into acting.

See also:

27 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Bowie 'most inspiring' musician
30 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Bowie's cyberspace oddity
14 Jan 00 | Entertainment
David Bowie: Banking on success
19 Nov 99 | New Music Releases
CD Review: David Bowie
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