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  • Writer's picturehwandawa

Gorillaz: Becoming Humanz

Updated: May 22, 2019

As an animated band technology has been undoubtedly interconnected with the concept of Gorillaz. This time however, with the landscape of social technology having exploded since we last heard from the group, Gorillaz have let us step into their world like never before.

After a six year hiatus and seven months of teasing us with the hopes of new music, the animated indie electronic band, Gorillaz, have finally unleashed upon us a brand new studio album. Packed with a myriad of guests and remixers from a broad spectrum of electronic, soul and rap, with a "weird darkness" underlying it, Humanz puts Gorillaz once again at the forefront of innovative music.

As an animated band technology has been undoubtedly interconnected with the concept of Gorillaz. This time however, with the landscape of social technology having exploded since we last heard from the group, Gorillaz have let us step into their world like never before, further merging real life with animation and in turn constructing a new reality for us to get lost in with them.

The last seven months have been marked by a journey through the eyes of animated band mates; 2D, Murdoc, Noodle and Russel. As part of announcing their return and hinting at the prospect of new music, via their Instagram page, Gorillaz chronicled the events of each band mate post Plastic Beach, culminating with them all ending back in the studio. Noodle's personal Instagram page follows her globe trotting adventures, and a flurry of new artwork and videos of Gorillaz behind the scenes perfecting their new album or just living their day to day lives fills the official Gorillaz page. All of this worked to immerse ourselves into the weird, dark and wonderful world of Gorillaz and peak our excitement for what the band has in store.

Instagram isn't the only way Gorillaz have been re-acquainting us with their characters and their world through new technology. Gorillaz have found a way to merge themselves into our reality through augmented reality. The Lenz app provides a literal gateway into the bands dark, twisted world - hold up your phone to anything magenta and boom, you've opened up a portal into their world! Live streamed video interviews with the awesome foursome have brought the band to their international fan base's screens and connected them in real-time and an animated series has been announced for 2018.

And it's not just technology that Gorillaz have been innovative with in the lead up to the release of Humanz. Before we were even sure if a new album was in the works, the video for Hallelujah Money dropped. Tying in with the inauguration of Donald Trump, Gorillaz opened the door to the dark new world that they, and Trump, were about to lead us into.

And when we did find out the album name, release date, collaborators and new character artwork, via a series of swish Instagram posts, six videos from the twenty-six track album were unleashed onto YouTube. All six perfectly showcasing the experimental dark sounds explored in the album.

Gorillaz's YouTube channel also hosted nine remixes by purveyors of underground electronic music. From Bonobo to Baauer, Claptone to Banx & Ranx, Humanz Remixed is an ode to those willing to experiment and those who have risen to the top of their game for doing so. Not only has this served to once again positioned Gorillaz as innovators and purveyors of the fresh and new, their music has now fallen into the hands of a brand new audience - nicely done guys!

The last seven months have taken us deeper and deeper into the world of Gorillaz. Thanks to their ingenious use of technology, we have been immersed into their world like never before. But lets ponder this for a moment, have Gorillaz become human or have we become so consumed by technology that we are no more human than these twisted two dimensional characters?

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