Damon Albarn launched his new album with the DRC Music Project at an Oxfam shop in East london last night, bringing this year's series of Oxjam gigs to a close.
Damon says the project is a direct result of his long-standing relationship with the charity: "In 1999 this great woman called Claire Lewis came to me and said 'would you like to do something for Oxfam?'. I thought about it and I thought, 'I'd love to go to Africa and I'd love to meet musicians'."
"Going to Africa, the inspiration was just everywhere in the ether," he explained to BBC 6 Music. "It changed my life dramatically and so, to get another opportunity to revisit it and do something else, was always something I was going to do. Remi [Kabaka, Damon's longtime collaborator] and I have been going to Africa annualy or even bi-annualy for ten years."
The new DRC Music record is called Kinshasa One Two and it was made in just five days after a group of British producers, headed up by Damon, travelled out to the Democratic Republic of Congo back in July.
They included XL Recording's Richard Russell, Actress, Kwes, xx producer Rodaidh McDonald and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, with all except TEED sharing the Oxjam decks at the charity's Dalston store too.
"Going to Africa, the inspiration was just everywhere in the ether. It changed my life dramatically."
Damon described what it was like for the group to work in the Democratic Republic of Congo: "Everyone's a fantastic musician and there was a fantastic vitality to every jam. Great weather, the people are lovely, it's a very different environment. Some aspects of it are mind nunmbingly depressing but other aspects are so inspirational, they look like the future."
Due to power cuts and limited resources the group have, in some cases, created their own instruments and Damon said this makes their sound even more exciting.
"There is an intermediate technology thing where they produce what they need to use out of what they've got. But, in doing that, they create a new musical language and for a musician that's what's so exciting about places like Congo. But Congo is particularly exteme as an exponent of recycled sonics."
"It's a really beautiful thing to see stuff being created out of nothing. The drive and the motivation is so pure."
The resulting record is released digitally on the 3rd of October and physically in November.
"We had no idea what it was going to sound like," added Damon. "To some people's ears it might sound unfinished, but that's what we did in five days. There's no right or wrong to it."
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