Tag Archives: Gorillaz

Every Wednesday @ 11, Andrika showcases the latest in indie rock, with a particular eye to Toronto’s always vibrant scene. If the kids are down with it, you’ll hear it here.

* indicates Canadian artist

40. Rural Alberta Advantage- Departing (Paper Bag Records)*

39. Cold Cave- Cherish the Light Years (Matador Records)

38. Yelle- Safari Disco Club (Barclay Records)

37. Timber Timbre- Creep On Creepin’ (Arts & Crafts)*

36. Library Voices- Summer of Lust (Nevado Records)*

35. We Are Enfant Terrible- Explicit Pictures (Last Gang Records)

34. CSS- La Liberacion (Cooperative Music)

33. Colin Stetson- New History Warfare Vol.2: Judges (Constellation Records) *

32. Moonface- Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I Hoped (Jajaguawar)*

31. TV on the Radio- Nine Types of Light (Interscope)

30. Cut Copy- Zonoscope (Modular)

29. Tune Yards- W H O K I L L (4AD)

28. Bruce Peninsula- Open Flames (Outside Music)

27. The Paint Movement- The Paint Movement (Nevado Records)*

26. Johan Agebjörn- Casablanca (Paper Bag Records)

25. Beastie Boys- Hot Sauce Committee Part II (Capitol)

24. Portugal the Man- In the Mountain in the Cold (Atlantic)

23. Feist- Metals (Arts & Crafts)*

22. Imaginary cities- Temporary Resident (Hidden Pony)*

21. Austra- Feel It Break * (Paper Bag Records)*

20. Digitalism- I Love You Dude (V2 Records)

19. The Kills- Blood Pressures (Domino Records)

18. Big Black Delta- BBDLP1 (Independent)

17. Pat Jordache- Future Songs (Constellation Records)*

16. Destroyer- Kaputt (Merge Records)*

15. Sebastian- Total  (Because/Ed Banger Records)

14. Gorillaz- The Fall (Parlaphone)

13. Bon Iver- Bon Iver  (Jajaguwar)

12. SBTRKT- SBTRKT (Young Turks)

11. Rich Aucoin- We’re All Dying To Live (Public Publication EP/Over The Top LP)  (Sonic Records)*

10. Braids- Native Speaker (Flemish Eye Records/Kanine)*

9. Sandro Perri- Impossible Spaces (Constellation)*

8. M83- Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Naive Records)

7. Kidstreet- Fuh Yeah (Nettwerk Records) *

6. Chad Vangaalen- Diaper Island (Flemish Eye Records) *

5.  St. Vincent- Strange Mercy (4AD)

4. James Blake- James Blake (Atlas Records)

3. Ohbijou- Metal Meets (Last Gang Records)*

2. Grimes- Darkbloom (Arbutus Records) *

1.  Young Galaxy- Shapeshifting (Paper Bag Records) *

Plastic Beach is the debut album from Damon Albarn and his Magical Super Squad. The Squad is led by Captain Albarn, and is filled out by the rest of his team of All-Stars, such as Snoop Dogg, Mos Def, Lou Reed, De La Soul, etc. Gorillaz album?!?!? Oh right, this a Gorillaz album! My bad. But upon comparison to their last two releases (2001’s Gorillaz and 2005’s Demon Days), Plastic Beach is in an entirely different dimension.

While still retaining their eccentric brand of trip hop/rock on tracks like “Rhinestone Eyes” and “Broken” (both fantastic), Albarn, with a nasty band of collaborators, fool around with all sorts of musical flavours.

The beautiful orchestrated opener welcomes listeners into the World of the Plastic Beach. Snoop Dogg is disgustingly cool on this track, spitting out line after dirty line over a heavy, atmospheric Mezzanine-esque rhythm courtesy of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, while U.K. rappers Bashy and Kano throw down the most electrifying delivery I have heard in the while on “White Flag,” sandwiched in the middle of an incredible Middle-Eastern orchestral piece. “Stylo” is already an awesome electro-funk groove thanks to Mos Def’s brief but memorable appearance before Bobby Womack absolutely explodes into the track, turning a great single into so much more.

Little Dragon, or Yukimi Nagano, depending on who is asking, features on “To Binge”, but is absolutely fucking epic on “Empire Ants.” Beginning with an ambient, bossa nova beat filled out by Albarn’s vocals (his most memorable on the entire album), it progresses into a trippy, airy electronica soundscape which would make Junior Boys or James Murphy cry with envy, before Nagano’s whispery, beautiful voice turns transform this song into one that will be in my head for months.

As mentioned before, this doesn’t feel like a Gorillaz album because cartoon bands don’t make albums as amazing as this one. Genre swapping from dark trip-hop to ambient soul to the completely fucking weird, this environmentally-focused album asks that Gorillaz be taken much more seriously. – by Luca Capone