Few artists can claim to have their fingers in as many pies as Blur and Gorillaz front man Damon Albarn. Speaking with BBC Radio 4 recently, the heterogeneous songsmith explained that he had “been mucking around with Russian synthesizers in a very loose mind of doing some kind of record under my name.” Albarn was is reluctant to use term “solo”, noting that it sounds “lonely”, but conceded that he’s making another record, with no fixed release date as of yet.
The album follows the recent release of music from Albarn’s ambitious operatic work Dr Dee, which had some critics cooing “triumph” at the former king of Britpop’s seemingly effortless transition into a production that focuses on a largely forgotten medical and scientific advisor to Queen Elizabeth I. Albarn had already polished his empirical resume with his 2002 collaborative project Mali Music and more recently in 2007 scoring Monkey: Journey to the West, a stage adaptation of a 16th Century Chinese novel. Such feats seem a far cry from the halcyon days of Blur Anglo-centric mega stardom of the mid-'90s.
Albarn and his Blur bandmates are scheduled to reunite for a couple of shows over the summer in the UK, though Albarn is keen to distance the performances from the London Olympic games, echoing the more direct musing of fellow Brit John Lydon. “The corporate side I find a bit depressing,” Albarn expressed to BBC Radio 4, “there’s too much of it (sponsorship)…We’re putting it on for London and people who want to sing their hearts out in the park.” Albarn remains a little vaguer about any future projects coming from Blur collaborations, “I’m seeing it as a punctuation point. That can be whatever you choose to make it.” [NME]