Brooklyn, New York, USA-based hip-hop outfit formed in 1995 by Nick Millhiser (drums), Jesse Levine (vocals), Morgan Wiley (guitar), Andrew Raposo (bass), Alex Frankel (keyboards), and Ben Fries (vocals). The members all originate from New York City except for Wiley who was born in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to Las Vegas at a young age. Automato defy the conventional limits of the hip-hop genre, drawing on indie pop, dance punk and leftfield electronica to give their music a unique and powerful sound. Taking in influences as disparate as Nas, Can and the Pixies, it was this adventurous taste that attracted the sextet to producers Tim Goldsworthy and James Murphy, owners of the ultra hip record label DFA (Death From Above) and the men largely responsible for spearheading the rise of New York’s dance punk scene in the early years of the twenty-first century. Automato’s self-titled debut album, which was released in 2004, gained plaudits from all over the globe, with several critics labeling the sextet the ‘ Radiohead of hip-hop’ for their willingness to experiment with odd time signatures and complex rhythms.
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