Record label: Virgin
Release date: summer 2001
The easy description for this project: Blur's Damon Albarn meets Deltron 3030. But Gorillaz is an enigma, and you won't get it until you see the video for "Clint Eastwood." And when you do, you wouldn't think that it all boils down to four animated characters, but it does. THEY are Gorillaz: Murdoc (bassist), 2-D (vocalist), Russel (drummer/MC), and Noodle (guitarist). In reality, the whole thing's produced by Dan the Automator (Dr. Octagon, Deltron 3030, Handsome Boy Modeling School) and guest spots include Miho Hatori, Del Tha Funky Homosapien, Tina Frantz and others, but I think it's clear that they want us to play along.
The fabulous video for "Clint Eastwood" makes you forget that it's an awkward song to begin with, grinding dub and hip-hop into what sounds like a B-Boy's funeral dirge. And what is with that chorus? "I'm happy, feeling glad/I've got sunshine in a bag/I'm useless, but not for long/the future is comin' onů" Damon (I mean, 2D) pops up with the chorus while Del (excuse me, Russel - work with me here, people) exorcises some rhyme demons on the mic. Now, for the remixes: the Ed Case Remix is one of those tracks you could listen to five times and still not be sure if you like it or not. This one follows the 2-step craze and that stupid chorus REALLY sounds out of place here. Russel is replaced by some patois-spouting cat. The Phi Life Cypher Remix makes some sense out of things with a heavier beat and various MCs gettin' grimy over the instrumental (Russel's crew, maybe?). In terms of structure, it's better than the original. Then again, singles tend to be a bad indicator of what an album has to offer. This is obviously omething a bit more involved. How involved, you ask? Rumor has it that Russel's doing some remixes for other artists and 2-D is collaborating with Massive Attack. Yeah, that involved.
Album Version ||| Ed Case Remix ||| Phi Life Cypher
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