where did it all begin

March 12, 2012

I’m a fan of Damon Albarn’s career choices in general, from his pop band days in Blur to his, well, pop band days in Gorillaz, to his oddball turns like the Mali Music lp…and now to his brilliant decision to co-produce an entire album for Bobby Womack, who guested on the last Gorillaz album.

Bobby will forever be a legend in my mind for “Across 110th Street” thanks to Jackie Brown alone, but I was enchanted with his work on Plastic Beach. When I just learned about it I ended up listening to it four times in a row….not necessarily intentionally, I was just that transfixed. I’m just so in love with the combination of sparce electronics with Womack’s expressively pained vocals. The backing is never competing for attention; it’s just enough to add color. As Pitchfork said in their review, it sounds “like futuristic r&b”. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album now, and hope they press it on vinyl…

Oh, and it’s worth watching this all the way to the end, beyond hearing the song that is.

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One Response to “where did it all begin”

  1. funkschnecke said

    Wow! Great track! I love that many musicians pull from several genres of music breaking down the boundaries between labelled styles. I wouldn’t have thought electronic music plus Bobby Womack vocals equals great track – sort of an unexpectedly wonderful mix of cool/dry/mechanical and sweltering/achy/human. Maybe that’s the magic, the thoroughly human warms up the austere… is that too didactic? I’m just thinking aloud on why it is that I like it.

    On a slightly different note: I can’t stand so much of the popular music that regurgitates and rolls around in the pop-slop, stuff we’ve already heard before that’s only been slightly tweaked to make it more modern, but once in a while it works. Chromeo is certainly appreciative of mainstream yacht-rock music of the 70s&80s and often they cover huge hits from the years I was growing up.Somehow I feel like they aren’t just ironic nor just regurgitating. I’m not sure if I just like their throwbacks (like a cover of Boz Scaggs Lowdown) just out of nostalgia or if they really are doing something with the material… I’m inclined to think the latter, or else the original artists may not be willing to work with them, such as Daryl Hall in this clip:

    I love it! But that said, I think the track Jungalero posted shows that much more can be done bringing together the new and the old than tweaking with voice modulation.

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