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Bobby Womack Contributes to ‘Crack Funk’ Sound on New Gorillaz Album

‘Plastic Beach,’ the third studio album from the Grammy Award-winning Gorillaz — crowned the world’s “Most Successful Virtual Band” by the Guinness Book of World Records — drops next Tuesday, March 8 in the United States. Snoop Dogg, De La Soul, Mos Def, Little Dragon and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are among a host of guests enlisted in support of the animated Noodle, 2D, Russel, and frontman Murdoc. But for human masterminds Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, who began working on the project — tentatively titled ‘Carousel’ — in November of 2007, Gorillaz are not just four cartoon characters fronting a fictitious band, but a vehicle to bring new sounds to the masses. ‘Plastic Beach’ also marks the return of R&B legend Bobby Womack, who knew nothing of Gorillaz until he was convinced by his daughter to contribute.

“I thought she was talking about a real gorilla,” Womack told RollingStone.com in 2009. “I said, ‘I worked with a lot of people, but I never worked with a gorilla.’” The singer appears with Mos Def on the single ‘Stylo,’ for which the video, starring Bruce Willis, debuted earlier this week.

The track is described by “Murdoc” at the interactive Gorillaz website Gorillaz.com as “a new sound for Gorillaz. An electro-ish ‘crack funk’ sound, with a little bit of politics and a lot of soul going down. With ‘Stylo,’ I wanted the music to feel euphoric, whilst still putting across how precarious our tightly packed situation is now, worldwide.”

“Bobby Womack’s chorus, he just explodes into the track. How good is it to get Bobby Womack on the record? This was the first recording he’s made in 15, 20 years, so what an honour. Bobby said he only returned to do this Gorillaz track because his granddaughter [sic] said Gorillaz were cool. Which is true. We are.”

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