Chris Daly is fluent in both Sith and Jedi.
The casual music fan could be forgiven for not being too familiar with Journey to the West, the 2008 Chinese opera penned by Damon Albarn. While the stage show is allegedly the kung-fu equivalent of Cirque du Soleil, unless you were one of the fortunate few who saw it in Manchester, London, Paris or South Carolina (really?), there arguably wasn’t much to draw the average Blur or Gorillaz fan. I mean, it’s Chinese opera, and most folks aren’t too familiar with the allegorical story of Buddhism’s spread from India to China.
With a current run of the show at NYC’s Lincoln Center, though, Albarn is giving folks the opportunity to redeem the situation. And while the operatic stylings of Asian performers dressed as monkeys, pigs and demons still might not be your cup of tea, this remix of “Monkey Bee” by L.A. beat maestro Nosaj Thing (aka Jason Chung) certainly takes the edge off the original for you kids and your late night beat needs.
Burying the vocals and incorporating his signature ghostly production, the remix is easy on the ears and perfect for headphone haunting. This is a vast departure from earlier remixes of the same track by Diplo and Kwes that dropped at the time of the original album release. For my money, Nosaj deserves the First Place Ribbon. Whether listening will result in total enlightenment, a monkey pissing in your palm or heavenly peaches remains to be seen.