“Breathtaking… effortless integration of different traditions”–TIME
“A triumph of creativity”–THE HUFFINGTON POST
January 13 will see the U.S. digital release of two distinctive remixes–one by Diplo and one by Kwes–of “Monkey Bee,” a track from MONKEY: JOURNEY TO THE WEST (XL Recordings), the acclaimed album based on the Mandarin Opera reinterpreted by GORILLAZ creators Damon Albarn (music) and Jamie Hewlett (visuals).
Additionally MONKEY: JOURNEY TO THE WEST was recently given an ultra deluxe treatment by UK-based Vinyl Factory. Limited to 2000 copies worldwide, each signed and numbered package comes in a hand-made, black cloth-bound gold-foiled box containing four exclusive Jamie Hewlett giclee art prints on Somerset archival paper, each stamped and numbered, one signed and dated. Housed in a red, gold-foiled folio; a cloth-bound hardback 84-page art book; two super-heavyweight 200-gram vinyl LPs featuring six bonus tracks not on the commercial release, and more. Additionally every purchase of the Box Set includes a digital version of the album. Further information can be found at http://www.vinylfactory.co.uk/shop/monkey_le/index.php.
MONKEY: JOURNEY TO THE WEST was first staged June 28, 2007 in the UK at the inaugural Manchester International Festival, when world-renowned theatre, opera and film director Chen Shi-Zheng enlisted Albarn and Hewlett to provide unique, modern musical and visual interpretations of the themes and characters of this most beloved work of Chinese folklore. The result was a new stage show for the 21st century that recast an ancient Chinese legend as a dazzling spectacle involving nearly 40 Chinese circus acrobats, martial artists and singers, and an orchestra of both Western and traditional Chinese instruments. MONKEY has since played to sold-out houses across Europe, made its U.S. debut at the 2008 Spoleto Festival USA, played at London’s famed Royal Opera House, and is in the midst of an extended London run in a specially built tented theater adjacent to the O2 Arena.