Socialist Worker

Monkey, Journey to the West

by Sian Ruddick
Issue No. 2115

Artwork for Monkey by Jamie Hewlett

Artwork for Monkey by Jamie Hewlett

This album is the soundtrack that Damon Albarn composed to accompany his ground-breaking opera of the same title.

The opera is based on a 16th century Chinese novel which continues to be popular with new generations in China.

Albarn studied Chinese folk music to shape the soundtrack.

The music has a stripped-back electronica feel, with simple tick-tock drum beats and synthesisers alongside recordings of the endless car horns of modern China’s city roads.

All this on a 22-track CD makes for enchanting listening, taking you through a variety of moods and scenes.

With a bit of imagination you can feel the movements of the characters the music was written for.

The opera sold out in a few days so take this opportunity to experience this impressive hybrid of traditional and modern music.

Monkey, Journey to the West
Damon Albarn
CD out now
XL Records

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Article information

Tue 19 Aug 2008, 18:36 BST
Issue No. 2115
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