Damon Albarn is revving up Africa Express for a big year. After releasing their MOLO EP back in March, the cross-continental project announced a new full-length, EGOLI. Set for a July 12th release, the highly collaborative 18-track effort was first previewed with “Johannesburg”, and today the group has delivered another single: “Become the Tiger”.
A pulsing electronic track, “Become the Tiger” features Albarn alongside Africa Expresses’ Sibot, a South African producer, and “sample-hound” Mr Jukes, aka Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club. In a press release, Sibot recalled the creation of the song:
“Mr Jukes and I had this infectious groove going. People would pop their heads in, those heads would start bobbing and the room grew crowded. This beat was special. Damon made a turn, he pushed through the jammed door and straight for the mic. I hit record like a panic button.
Damon jumped on a bed and started making up words. He somehow arrived at ‘become the tiger’… We all started chanting it. I kicked everyone out so I could quickly capture the idea. Silly and spontaneous. The best kind!”
It’s a far more neon song than “Johannesburg”, as the accompanying visual reflects in its strobing, mirrored imagery. Take a look and a listen to Africa Express’ “Become the Tiger” below.
The 18-track LP was recorded during a trip to South Africa last January, where the collective embarked on a week of music-making and collaboration. Other guests on EGOLI include Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, Ghetts, and Georgia, as well as South African rising stars like Blk Jks, Infamous Boiz, Morena Leraba, and Maskandi guitar legend Phuzekhemisi.