Rare is the musician who reaches the third decade of their career before deciding to strike out alone, but Damon Albarn‘s constant work rate since finding fame with Blur in the early ’90s means he’s simply been too busy to get around to his debut solo record until now.
After conquering the charts with Blur and Gorillaz, the past decade has seen Albarn turn his attention to Africa, absorbing the music of Mali, Nigeria and Congo and collaborating with legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, while presiding over a cluster of cross-cultural collaborations (Rocket Juice & The Moon, Africa Express, Kinshasa One Two) which brought African artists together with the likes of Actress, Ghostpoet and Kwes.
Arriving on April 28, Albarn’s debut solo LP Everyday Robots draws on his decade-long involvement with African music to create what he’s said is his most autobiographical work yet. Featuring guest spots from Brian Eno and Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan, the album was produced by XL’s Richard Russell, who previously worked with Albarn on Bobby Womack’s 2012 comeback, The Bravest Man in the Universe.
As you’d expect, Albarn has cast his net deep and wide for an ultra-eclectic FACT mix. Titled Waves in Suyian and made in collaboration with Remi Kabaka and Suzi Winstanley, it spans US-Cambodian psych-rockers Dengue Fever to West Indian soul group The Guinness Casanovas, with Mulatu Astatke, Erykah Badu and Holly Golightly in between, plus a pair of unreleased tracks from Albarn himself.
Everyday Robots is released via Parlophone on April 28, and can be pre-ordered here.
01. Joaquin Phoenix, Intro; Dog Harp Fireworks
02. Erykah Badu, ‘Strawberry Incense’
03. The Guinness Cassanovas, ‘Stormy’
04. Matias Aguayo, ‘El Sucu Tucu’
05. Damon Albarn, ‘Electric Demo’
06. East Side Symphony, ‘Hot Pants Road’
07. Henry Mancini, ‘Lujon’
08. Prince Charles and The City Beat Band, ‘Cash (Money)’
09. K Frimpong And His Cubanos Fiesta, ‘Kyenkyen Bi Adi M’awu’
10. Holly Golightly And The Greenhornes, ‘There Is An End’
11. The Great Beauty soundtrack
12. Dengue Fever, ‘One Thousand Tears Of A Taratula’
13. Mulatu Astatke, ‘Yegell’e Teleta (My Own Memory)’
14. 2 Pac And Friends, ‘California Love’
15. Damon Albarn, ‘You and Me’
16. The Man in the Rain Coat soundtrack