The Gorillaz, the virtual band that frequently teams up with music legends, features Elton John on its latest track. The track, “The Pink Phantom,” also features rapper and songwriter 6LACK. And while it may not please everyone, there’s no doubt the song, which includes auto-tuned rapping and dueling pianos, is unique.
The Gorillaz recently posted the new song to its YouTube channel. The song is the latest in the titrated music drip the band’s been releasing for its Song Machine project. The Song Machine is a collection of singles and music videos, which the band refers to as “episodes.”
So far, the Song Machine songs have featured guests from numerous genres, from punk rock to bossa nova. Artists such The Cure’s Robert Smith, drummer Tony Allen, and British rapper Slowthai have added their musical DNA to the Song Machine lineup. “Pac-Man,” featuring American artist ScHoolboy Q, is especially catchy. And, we imagine, great for retro gaming.
As for song itself, it certainly has the eclectic, potpourri of instruments and sounds that usually pervade the band’s music. And, like the music video itself, the song somehow feels kaleidoscopic; which makes sense as the familiar toys work by producing constantly changing patterns. (Also, “peach blossom highway” is a phrase for the ages.)
On top of “The Pink Phantom,” the Gorillaz also released a pair of short outro tracks, in which the virtual bandmates talk about the eponymous character; whoever that is.
An entire album made up of Song Machine songs, Song Machine Season One: Strange Timez, is set to be released on October 23. It’s unclear if there will be multiple seasons of the Song Machine, but the band’s drummer, “Russel,” told DIY magazine that the “World is moving faster than a supercharged particle, so we’ve gotta stay ready to drop.”
Feature image: Gorillaz