Damon Albarn, Brian Eno, Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner, and Idris Elba Working on Album in Mali | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Damon Albarn, Brian Eno, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, and Idris Elba Working on Album in Mali

As Part of the Africa Express Project

Oct 14, 2013 Yeah Yeah Yeahs
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Continuing work with his Africa Express project, where western and African musical artists join forces for a musical collaboration, Blur’s Damon Albarn has recruited the likes of Brian Eno, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, Holy Other, actor Idris Elba, and local artists to work on a new album in Bamako, the capital of Mali.

According to NME the organizers behind the project chose Mali following a significant bout of political upheaval, which saw the nothern part of the country seized by Islamists and Tuareg rebels before a French-backed government offensive intervened.

“I keep coming back to Mali, through everything that’s happened,” says Albarn in an interview with The Guardian. “At times it has felt odd in Bamako, with the problems in the north, but I’m just trying to personally establish dialogue with the people in this country and the music.”

Eno also offered a statement: “I was quite surprised coming here how broken the place is… How the streets are terrible. The open sewers stink. It’s very disheartening in a way. But what is really strong here is social infrastructure—it’s so powerful and rich. My feeling is that Malian music draws attention to the richness of that social capital, and if you listen to it, you realise something about this society really is sorted.”

Albarn helped launch Africa Express in 2006, recently taking 70 musicians on a chartered train to tour around the UK.



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November 9th 2013