So what does an animated hip-hop supergroup with a platinum-selling debut do for an encore? If you're Damon Albarn of Blur, who conceived the virtual group the Gorillaz, you make wholesale changes to the lineup, naturally.
Albarn, who collaborated with beatmaking producer Dan the Automator on the Gorillaz's 2001 self-titled debut album, has found a new production partner for the group's upcoming sophomore record: Danger Mouse, the DJ behind the Jay-Z and Beatles mash-up, The Grey Album (see "Grey Album Producer Danger Mouse Explains How He Did It").
Currently, both Albarn and Danger Mouse are in England co-producing the next Gorillaz album, which is slated to be released in the spring. Like the first studio set, the next LP is expected to feature a diverse collection of guest vocalists and MCs. The only confirmed guests thus far are De La Soul, according to Danger Mouse, who said that he and Albarn were still unsure of what tracks were going to make the final cut.
"We're pretty deep into it," he said of the project. "We're both very excited about what's happening musically and I think it'll surprise a lot of people. But I don't really want to describe a sound for people to expect."
The Gorillaz album will once again include a visual component, but it wasn't clear if the same artist, Jamie Hewlett, creator of the "Tank Girl" comics, would be handling those duties this time around.