MusicNovember 3, 2011 at 6:30 am

Six Degrees of Collaboration

This fall, collaborations between artists have been dominating music news and generating lots of hype and excitement — and the trend doesn’t show any signs of letting up. Follow our circle of collabs to see what connections have been formed and what’s in the works. They prove yet again that the music world is becoming ever more intertwined.

Atoms For Peace
Originally billed as “Thom Yorke ????” on the Coachella 2011 Lineup poster, Atoms for Peace — named after a song on Yorke’s 2006 solo album The Eraser — is a collaboration featuring Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. The rock supergroup was first unveiled by Yorke last October at Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theater, and they are currently putting the finishing touches on their first studio album before embarking on an international tour.

Rocket Juice and the Moon
The sounds of Rocket Juice and the Moon went viral this week, after the group posted several live tracks taken from their debut gig in Marsailles, France. The project is a new collaboration between Gorillaz/Blur frontman Damon Albarn and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, with drummer Tony Allen. The recordings find the band jamming on a number of eccentric, Afrobeat–tinged tunes that may intimidate fans of Gorillaz or Red Hot Chili Peppers. Though a full album is expected to be in the works, an official release date has yet to be announced.

Damon Albarn & Little Dragon
Damon Albarn, when in his Gorillaz role, is known to collaborate with a wide variety of artists, from Snoop Dogg to Lou Reed to De La Soul. On his most recent Gorillaz album, the sublime Plastic Beach, two great tracks were products of a collaboration with the Swedish electronic outfit Little Dragon. “Empire Ants” and “To Binge” combine the best elements of Albarn’s and Little Dragon’s shared electronic and soul sensibilities.

Little Dragon & SBTRKT
Little Dragon is also in a major collaborative stage now and has most notably worked with the upstart electro–dubstep artist SBTRKT. The DJ’s biggest hit, “Wildfire,” is a product of a collaboration between the artists. It’s a perfect match — the silky, soulful vocals of Little Dragon glide over SBTRKT’s smooth and funky dubstep beats to create a delightfully chilled–out soundscape.

SBTRKT & Thom Yorke
When Thom Yorke and Radiohead decided to issue a remix edition of last year’s The King of Limbs, they hand–selected some of the most innovative artists in electronic music to deliver new takes on their tracks. SBTRKT was one of those carefully chosen artists, and his work on “Lotus Flower” is sure to have made Yorke proud. SBTRKT’s dubstep tempo combined with the glitch and synth elements provide an excellent counter–balance to the original song’s hauntingly beautiful vocals.


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