Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gorillaz escape

Damon Albarn was on Radio One last night playing what were billed as "new Gorillaz songs". In truth, the three tracks sound like home demos -- crammed with ideas, but lacking any structure or polish.

The first track he played, Broken, was the most fully-realized (and the only one with vocals). A hazy, trippy ballad, it continued with Demon Days' theme of imminent armageddon and the fall of man - while displaying the influence of Albarn's excursions into world music with Africa Express and the Monkey opera.

Electric Shock started off with pretty piccolo lines and a playful pizzicato string motif - but it exploded in about a hundred different directions, the highlight being a lo-fi electro drum loop which featured a Santogold-esque chant of "that's electric shock" over the top. This was perhaps the only song of the trio that fit conceptually with Gorillaz previous indie-hip-hop experiments.

Finally, we heard Stylo/Binge, which would make a good b-side on a Warp Records release (trans: It's a load of twiddly electronic bollocks).

Talking on the show, Albarn admitted the songs were "not finished by any means".

"It's really hard to know when something's done," he added. "If I haven't got it right, I'll throw it away."

Listen to them below (and hope that planned sessions in Syria later this year turn the demos into something a bit more hummable).


Electric Shock


By the way, Albarn also displayed impeccable taste during his "take-over" of the Zane Lowe show, playing tracks by Dead Prez, Plastic Bertrand and Girls Aloud (Biology!).

Good work, Mr Blur.

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