Listen to unreleased Gorillaz track ‘Whirlwind’

Damon Albarn may have put Gorillaz on ice to embark on a world tour (and possible new album) with Blur, but he hasn’t forgotten about his “other band” altogether. While filling in for radio host Dermot O’Leary on his BBC Radio 2 program Albarn debuted a previously unreleased Gorillaz track called ‘Whirlwind’. [Via CoS]

The eerie 90-second instrumental was recorded in Damascus with the Syrian National Orchestra during the Plastic Beach sessions back 2008/09. Albarn dedicated ‘Whirlwind’ to members of the Orchestra who he has reportedly lost contact with since the recent Syrian crisis began.

Gorillaz played a concert with the Orchestra at the Citadel (an 11th century palace) in the Syrian Capital of Damascus as part of the band’s 2010 world tour. Albarn spoke at length about the personal and political significance of this performance in an interview with FL ahead of Gorlliaz Australian dates.

“Damascus will always be up there because it was such a sort of first. And the fact that we managed to jump over all the hurdles bureaucratically – between American visas, Syrian visas the Israeli issue, you know, just everything,” he said. “It was a real powder-keg of potential problems but everyone on both sides was really up for making it happen and it makes you wonder why we have these sort of terrible sort of fears of communicating with the Middle East or inability to communicate with the Middle East when we sort of managed to get 70 musicians from all over the place to play in there, right in the centre, right next to the grand mosque – one of the most important religious centres in the whole of Islam.”

In April last year Albarn told The Guardian that it was unlikely that there would ever be any new Gorillaz material following a disagreement with collaborator Jamie Hewlett. But then again he once said that about Blur, who are currently working on their eighth album and will be in Australia in January for the Big Day Out.

Gorllaz ‘Whirlwind’