Saturday, February 17, 2007

Six Degrees of the Gorillaz (Degree Zero)

I used to think that Gnarls Barkley was a person not a group. Until a few weeks ago when I found out that Gnarls Barkley is actually Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo Green. What can I say, most of the time I am off in my own little world nor caring about who is in what band. Then I heard on the radio about this group called, The Good, the Bad and the Queen. Which is Damon Albarn from Blur, and Gorillaz. Which (shocker) I didn't know until I heard about The Good, the Bad and the Queen.

So all of these connections made me think if you wanted to be up on the cool groups in alternative pop all you would need to do is look at one or two degrees of the Gorillaz. By my count there are at least 100 people who have, either by them self or as part of a group, been part of making the music of the Gorillaz. This not even counting all of the visual artists. The wide range of artist is pretty impressive. The range even within one degree goes form Ike Turner the self proclaimed "Father of Rock and Roll" to Eminen arguably the greatest rapper alive. I would not be one of the people that argue that but I have heard it reasonably argued.

So I can start this off slow I will only go over the three musicians with the longest connection to the Gorillaz.

Damon Albarn is the founder and only true musical member of the Gorillaz. He is the only musician to take part on every Gorillaz song and contrary to popular belief the only person to perform on every Gorillaz Album. I already mentioned that he is/ was the lead singer of Blur. He just release the The Good, the Bad and the Queen with fellow Gorillaz performers Danger Mouse and Simon Tong (of the Verve). Plus this new indie rock super group also has Paul Simonon (of The Clash) and Tony Allen the drummer for Fela Kuti.

Next would probably be
Del tha Funkee Homosapien aka Deltron. He was part of the Gorillaz project since it was called Gorilla. Is Ice Cube's cousin and if you ask me one of the greatest rappers alive. Del has several solo albums. Plus Del was part of the crew Hieroglyphics who constsited of Snupe (who left the group shortly before the release of the crews debut album, 3rd Eye Vision), Casual, Pep Love, Jaybiz, Souls of Mischief (A-Plus, Tajai, Opio, and Phesto) and manager/producer Domino.

Del also collaborated with future Gorillaz performers Dan the Automator and Kid Koala on the concept album Deletron 3030. He also participated in the collabritation Handsome Boys Modeling School with Dan the Automator and Prince Paul.

Next up on is the great Dan the Automator, who was working with Damon Albarn when the Gorillaz was still called Gorilla. You probably already know everything about because I have mentioned him a few times already. But I will carry on for all those too lazy to have read the links about Dan the Automator.

Dan is most well know for his work with Kool Keith on the Dr. Octagon project. Or at least that is where he gained his greatest commercial success. About the same time as the release of Dr. Octagonecologyst (1996) (originally titled Dr. Octagon) Viva! La Woman was released. Dan worked with fellow Gorillaz performer Miho Hatori and the rest of Cibo Matto on Viva! La Woman and Cibo Matto's next album Stereotype A.

In 1999 Dan collaborated with Prince Paul the producer of for De La Soul on the Handsome Boys Modeling School project. Their first album, So... How's Your Girl?, had a number of great guest musicians appear, including Del tha Funkee Homosapien, J-Live, Sean Lennon, Miho Hatori (of Cibo Matto), Mike D (of the Beastie Boys) and Don Novello (as comic character Father Guido Sarducci).

Handsome Boys Modeling School's second album, White People was released in November 2004. It featured some of the collaborators from the first album, and some new collaborators such as RZA, Cat Power, Mars Volta, Jack Johnson, Mike Patton, Pharrell Williams, Chino Moreno, Lord Finesse, Black Sheep, and comedy actor Tim Meadows.

Also in 2004 Head Automatica's debut album , Decadence, was released. Decadence was the brainchild of Daryl Palumbo, who was known better for his work in the hardcore music scene, and Dan 'The Automator' Nakamura. The two allegedly met at a party and worked on what later became the album.

So I hoped you enjoyed the beginning of a wild odyssey through the connections in the musical world. Well I need to get on with my day, hopefully sometime before the end of 2007 I can get to work on the rest of the people involved in the Gorillaz.

1 comment:

Schildkröte said...

you need to bring it to the next degree...the upper center degree

teach us how zee