Africa Express – the initiative co-founded by Blur/Gorillaz brain Damon Albarn and Ian Birrell in 2006 that sees Western musicians collaborating with African artists – are in Mali this week, and they've taken along a gang of Dummy favourites for the ride.
A recent article in The Guardian profiling the project confirms that Albarn is out there right now alongside the likes of Brian Eno, Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner and DJ (and actor and TV presenter) Idris Elba. Interestingly, some of the other artists involved (both confirmed in the article and elsewhere) include the likes of Ghostpoet, LuckyMe's Cid Rim, and Tri Angle's haunted R&B producer Holy Other.
Apparently the musicians are trying to put together an Africa Express album for the first time this year, and given the combined talents involved, the result will be worth looking out for. Watch this space.
Last year Africa Express took over a train for a tour of the UK with a line-up including Nicolas Jaar, Bashy, Charli XCX, Nneka and Gilles Peterson – see a collection of videos from that adventure here.