2D of Gorillaz Dishes on His Gap Year and Makes Us a Playlist
In case you hadn’t noticed, the Gorillaz are up to something. As in, up to a new album. After re-joining social media, the fab-foursome of 2D, Murdoc, Noodle and Russel revealed to the world just what the hell they have been up to in the years since their last album, 2010’s excellent Plastic Beach. In so many words, they have been up to a truly bizarre set of solo adventures.
And as strange as each of their individual journeys have been, none are quite as strange as the one embarked upon by lead singer and keyboardist, 2D. His visual story revealed a tale of woe and loss that involved a giant whale, starvation and going on his first-ever gap year.
Murdoc’s Guide to Britain
An exclusive interview with the leader and bass player of the Gorillaz, about booze, Brexit, Ringo Starr and ‘Carry on Matron’.
Something is stirring. It’s been four years since Gorillaz released their last record, The Fall, and four years since the band were sent spinning off in disparate directions. Russell blown sixty-times his size, 2D nearly becoming whale food, Noodle battling demons-turned-mafia-dons in Tokyo and Murdoc… well.
Since their last record, Gorillaz chief songwriter and bassist Murdoc Niccals has been through the wars, a little more than usual at least. After finding himself stranded on the titular Plastic Beach – a remote island seemingly miles away from civilisation – Niccals was surviving, just about, with nobody but the cyborg version of Noodle for company. However, when the island was besieged by pirates, he was forced to escape on a small rusting submarine. Following an ungodly stretch of time, submerged and without toilet facilities, he was eventually forced to surface – only to be greeted by the Battleship Ringo, a huge sea vessel owned by EMI. The multinational record company proceeding to take Niccals aboard, back to London only to imprison him in a dungeon beneath Abbey Road. So, yeah, it’s been a hell of a year. Read More
Caturday Grooving with Russel from Gorillaz
With whispers circulating of an exciting new album by Gorillaz we snared some time with the enigmatic Russel Hobbs from the group. An exceptional dude, who’s lead an extraordinary life. When he’s not being possessed by dead rappers, growing to ten times his regular size and being celebrated as a modern day Gulliver in Pyongyang, he’s behind most of Gorillaz’ dopest beats. This week he’s soundtracking your Caturday with an exclusive playlist, sharing the secrets of his inimitable style showcased in a bespoke portrait by Jamie Hewlett and telling us why the Devon Rex is his favourite feline.
A Syrian Symphony: Behind the scenes of an emotional musical reunion.
When their home country was torn apart by war, the members of the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians were dispersed around the world. Last month, they were brought together again for brief tour, aided by Damon Albarn. The BBC World Service went behind the scenes of the rehearsals.
The Q Factory, a hip rehearsal space in east Amsterdam, is the unlikely venue for an emotional reunion.
Here, 50 members of the Syrian Orchestra for Arabic Music have gathered to rehearse for their first concert together since civil war tore their nation apart. Many of them have not seen each other for five years.
“I cannot describe how it felt when we finally met again”, says singer Mais Harb. “There were lots of tears, lots of hugging, lots of happiness.”
Harb lives in Damascus and was lucky to get a visa permitting her to play this tour – which takes in Amsterdam, Glastonbury, London, Istanbul and the Roskilde Festival in Denmark.
“It is sad though”, says Firas Sharestan, who plays the qanun, an instrument that could well be part of the harp family, yet has 76 strings.
“We have these 10 days and afterwards everyone will go back to where they were before, and nobody knows when we will meet again.” Read More
‘It’s a record 100% honest.’
Interview translated by Kevin. Find the original article in french here.
“Everyday Robots ” is the first album of the English singer under his name. Poetic and very personal.
After twenty years of one of the most prolific careers of pop after the Blur project, Gorillaz, The Good, The Bad & the Queen, Damon Albarn reveals itself more than ever.
This first solo album is it the start of something?
That is possible. But it may be that this is a dead end, too! I give my full attention to each of my projects. I devote the time it deserves. When it runs out of steam, I try a new approach. The idea is to continue this creative spirit, to sustain life. And that has not changed since my debut, I’ve always wanted to have new and interesting things to do. At the moment, I am about my own attention. But this is not necessarily a permanent condition. Read More