Dan the Automator

Wanna Buy a Monkey?: A Mixtape Session

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Not just a production genius and the birth name behind a handful of indie/rap masked marvels (Handsome Boy Modeling School, Deltron 3030, Gorillaz), Dan "The Automator" Nakamura is also an excellent DJ. But even after ten years in the hip-hop game (and scores of credits), he'd still never released a mix album until 2002's Wanna Buy a Monkey?. Nakamura proves the wait was worth it, book-ending twin sets of hardcore hip-hop with a middle section comprised of downtempo material like his remix of Air's early classic "Le Soleil Est Pres de Moi" and his own productions of Lovage's "Stroker Ace" and Gorillaz's "Latin Simone." Also including his first credit from 1992 (a single recorded by Black Rob many years before he hooked up with Bad Boy), Wanna Buy a Monkey? shows off Nakamura's ear for a great track as well as his deft turntablist skills. Granted, about half of these were Automator productions or remixes to begin with, but Wanna Buy a Monkey? doesn't just collect a few of his rarer credits, but fits them into one of the best mix albums of the year.

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