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splendid > reviews > 4/10/2002
Dan the Automator
Dan the Automator
Wanna Buy a Monkey?
Sequence


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Fantomas' "Intro""

Buy me now
Whether you love him, hate him, or just plain have no idea who he his, it's hard to dispute Dan "the Automator" Nakamura's status as the king of beat-derived cool. In the past few years he's collaborated with everyone from Beck to Afrika Bambaata to Mike Patton to Damon Albarn, and even cartoonist Jamie Hewitt (on the unbelievably successful virtual supergroup Gorillaz). Somewhere in the midst of his landslide of production/remix jobs and myriad world tours, Nakamura was able to sit down and compile Wanna Buy a Monkey? Now, you might be asking yourself what separates this mix-tape session from the glut of similar collections that crowd the bins of your local record store. Well, for starters, it's actually good. Automator has never been one to skimp when it comes to the details, and in that spirit Monkey features tracks from hip-hop luminaries like De La Soul, Bobby Digital (aka the RZA) and Dilated Peoples, dropped next to selections from bands you wouldn't expect to hear on a collection of this nature, (Tortoise, Air, Zero 7 and Fantomas), as well as a host of Nakemura's own creations (Gorillaz, Deltron 3030 and Lovage). What this strange cast of characters eventually creates is a groovy mish-mash of up/down tempo breaks, hip-pop sound collages and the odd bout of guitar-driven frenzy that, while nearly impossibly to dance to, manages to expose most other DJs as the talentless, not to mention painfully derivative crate-raiders they truly are.


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