We're just listening to the new Gorillaz Plastic Beach album in the studio (it's being previewed on the Guardian's site, and comes out on 8 March). As expected, the album's a delicious fusion of styles and artists, including collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Kano, Bobby Womack, Mos Def, Gruff Rhys, De La Soul, Mark E Smith, Lou Reed, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon. Not a bad crowd to make some tunes with.
Incredibly, it's ten years since Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett launched 2D, Murdoc, Noodle and Russell on the world, with the Tomorrow Comes Today EP. Back then the world's first virtual band sounded like an amusing side project, a way for Albarn to flex his musical muscles without having to engage with the usual PR circus that accompanied every new Blur* album, and for Hewlett to stretch his legs away from the comic page (where he was best known for his Tank Girl strip).
But blimey, Gorillaz developed into so much more than that, producing two truly fantastic albums, Gorillaz and Demon Days, some killer videos, some pioneering 'live' shows; and in the process picked up the Designer of the Year award for Hewlett in 2006. All the while, they manage to appeal to both kids and adults, which is a damn fine trick.
Frankly it's just great to watch two extraordinary talents at the top of their game.
UPDATE: Check out their fantastic Stylo promo, which just launched.
* Their new concert DVD No Distance Left To Run is out now by the way.