Monkey, Journey to the West

This album is the soundtrack that Damon Albarn composed to accompany his ground-breaking opera of the same title.

The opera is based on a 16th century Chinese novel which continues to be popular with new generations in China.

Albarn studied Chinese folk music to shape the soundtrack.

The music has a stripped-back electronica feel, with simple tick-tock drum beats and synthesisers alongside recordings of the endless car horns of modern China’s city roads.

Artwork for Monkey by Jamie Hewlet

All this on a 22-track CD makes for enchanting listening, taking you through a variety of moods and scenes.

With a bit of imagination you can feel the movements of the characters the music was written for.

The opera sold out in a few days so take this opportunity to experience this impressive hybrid of traditional and modern music.

By Sian Ruddick, Socialist Worker