Duran Duran head into studio with Mark Ronson

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Duran Duran head into studio with Mark Ronson

Simon Le Bon and his crew enlist the man with the Midas touch to produce their forthcoming album – with a little help from a Kaiser Chief

Duran Duran have put 2007's disastrous Timbaland/Justin Timberlake-produced album behind them, entering the studio with Mark Ronson and even a member of Kaiser Chiefs.

Writing on the band's official blog, Simon Le Bon laid the group's US hip-hop crush to bed. "OK you've guessed it, we're moving in a different direction with these guys than with Timbaland and Justin T," he wrote. "It feels very good I have to say. MODERN ENGLISH ROCK is what it's all about for us."

"We have had such an inspired session so far," Le Bon wrote on Tuesday. "In the five days we've worked there, we have seen the nuts of eight new songs starting to grow on our tree. It's daunting enough for me to know where to start if I'm honest."

Even if things were going well, more is always better for Mark Ronson. When he isn't getting Amy Winehouse to sing on the Zutons' Valerie, he's doing a jazzy Radiohead cover with members of Phantom Planet. And for Duran Duran he has enlisted the songwriting skills of Kaiser Chiefs drummer Nick Hodgson.

"I called Nick a week ago and asked if he'd be interested in coming to work with Duran Duran and write a song," Ronson told NME. "He's never done that before, because he only writes with Ricky [Wilson] and his own band, but I thought it made a lot of sense because there's a lot of Kaiser Chiefs songs I could imagine being on a Duran Duran record 25 years ago."

Hodgson worked with Duran Duran for "five or six hours", writing three songs together. "One is quite rocky, one is more Italo disco," Ronson said. "Two of them I would definitely say are making the record."

Two songs down – only five more collaborations to go!

Courtesy Guardian UK