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June 30, 2008 - NME:

Damon's busy summer

'Mali Music' gets a rare live airing and now the Blur man reveals two more new projects

In-between turning his opera Monkey: Journey To The West into an album and working with hip-hop legends De La Soul, Damon Albarn is set to revive one of his first solo albums live next month.

He will perform part of his 2002 album 'Mali Music' at An Honest Jons Chop Up! which takes place at London's Barbican on July 5.

"I haven't touched it for, like, six years," Albarn told NME. "We had to go into the Sahara and find people [who played on it]. They live in the most remote places, but it's amazing how easy it is to find people if you've got the right people looking!"

The performance, which will also feature drummer Tony Allen and Björk collaborator Toumani Diabate, is being staged by Honest Jons, the west London record shop that first introduced Albarn to African music.

"I was constantly finding new music in there," explained Albarn. "It was my escape, going into that shop. Then I went to Mali and was really chuffed because I met musicians the shop had been recommending to me."

Unlike Albarn's recent Africa Exprez concert, the acts will rehearse beforehand, something the Blur man admits he needs to squeeze in around several other current projects.

"We've just finished my 'Monkey' record, it's pretty mad to be honest. I'm very proud of it, it's just really different, he said. "And I've been working with De La Soul. It's great to sit in a room with some of your favourite rappers, drink a beer and watch them go."

The article was spotted and scanned by 2-J at Gorillaz-Unofficial.

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