Gorillaz Plastic Beach isn’t made of rubbish

It’s been nine years since the the worlds first virtual  hip hop band spawned from the imaginations of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. And the Gorillaz are now back with their latest installment, Plastic Beach.  They may appear to dance on the fringe of pop, but do not under estimate the global fever pitch anything new from these guys creates.

Hewlett and Albarn cooked up the idea for the band in protest at the cartoon images of the popular commercial acts at the time, and the result was an ironic backfire as their popularity exploded. In 2006, a rumours of a rare live performance in Harlem led to tickets being sold in less than an hour from release. Their last release, Demon Days was the 5th biggest selling album of 2005, so this has a lot to live up to.

And they’ve returned with guns blazing. As ever, the collaborations are as eclectic as the musical style it’s self. Mark E Smith of post punkers The Fall, Snoop, Lou Reed and Bobby Womack all lend vocals to chunky hip hop beats, and bass lines so solid you could build a skyscraper on them. You can listen to the entire album at the Guardian.

Mixed Appeal

The art and characters of Jamie Hewlett account for a massive part of the appeal of the Gorillaz experience, and this hasn’t been ignored with the supporting release media. The new website allows you  explore the  Gorlliaz’ new home  for yourself and fully immerse yourself in the lives of band members 2D, Russell, Murdoch and Noodle.

This time round, visual media is playing a more predominant role. Idents focusing on characters stories have been released, along with an orchestral introduction to the Plastic Beach environment. They’ve even recruited a demented Bruce Willis hit man for the video  for the debut single Stylo.

Doing what most bands so after momentousness success, for the past few years they’ve been living somewhere on the south Pacific on their own island. Unfortunately for the Gorillaz, the island is made up of the washed up debris of humanity –  visit the Gorillaz’ Plastic Beach

Urban vinyl is serious creative business

Kaws teamed up with Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama to create these drool-able  objet d’art.  Fully articulated and available in  dark  or light chrome, prepare to be $1400 lighter if you can even find one.

You may well be a wondering what an art toy is doing in a digital marketing site. Brian Donnelly, the guy behind Kaws and the OriginalFake brand has made it into Fast’s 100 Most Creative people in business.

I have been  a massive fan if urban vinyl art since my time in Asia, and lucky enough to own a few gems from Michael Lau and Eric So. Urban vinyl artists have big brands queuing up to be considered for a collaboration pieces. Both Nike and Adidas were quick to recognize the potential to gain institutional art and street credibility in one swoop.  Donnely’s roots lie in graffiti and street art but now enjoys courtships with the likes of Levi and Nike mega-brands.

Check out the Kaws site, but you won’t find much…we always want want we can’t have.