Damon Albarn has stopped recording sessions for new Blur material.

The band had been working with producer William Orbit - who produced their '13' album in 1999 - but the rest of the group were left confused when Damon cryptically halted the sessions last month.

William said: ''They were getting some demons out of the way. The new stuff sounded amazing. Then it all stopped suddenly. It was all over with Damon, and the rest of the band were like, 'is that it'?

''I was like, 'Don't stop. Make an album. You know you're fast.'''

William also described the sound of material written by the group - which also includes Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree - saying it sounds down tempo, rather than the upbeat songs he had hoped for.

He added: ''I'm not going to say dirge, but I was hoping it would be a little more rousing. It was a little bit introspective.

''With Damon, demos often sound like it's impossible to believe they're going to amount to anything. And they often turn into the most incredible pieces of music you've ever heard.

''They're one of the best bands in the world. I want them to get back together and record some good, old rousing Blur songs.''