Dan The Automator
Wanna Buy a Monkey? — A Mixtape Session
Buying a DJ mix album is a lot buying a magazine for the record reviews — what you’re paying for isn’t musical skill, per se, but for tastemaking. You’re paying for the privilege of having someone else tell you what music is cool. If you’re very lucky, their taste agrees with yours right off the bat, but usually, it takes some time to find out whether the tastemaker is reliable or is a good gauge of exactly what you don’t like.
In the case of Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, though, I’ll pay to have him tell me what’s cool anytime. Having proven to me that he’s on my wavelength with too many projects to count (Handsome Boy Modeling School, Gorillaz, Lovage, Deltron 3030, and massive amounts of production and remix work), it’s perfectly reasonable for me to assume that a DJ mix (or Mixtape Session, as this record would have it) from Nakamura is going to be loaded down with stuff I’ll love. And Wanna Buy a Monkey? doesn’t disappoint. The Automator’s mix is diverse and rich, and aside from tracks from many of the aforementioned projects (sadly, no Handsome Boy), as well as relatively obscure production/writing/remix work for the likes of Black Rob, Air, and X-ecutioners, the “mixtape” includes artists as diverse as De La Soul, Zero 7, Tortoise, Brand Nubian, The Doves, Dilated Peoples, and Fantomas. Additional vocals from Encore and scratches from supreme turntablist Kid Koala tie it all together, and the smooth, continuous mix makes this a great party record — put it on and leave it on!
There aren’t many people I’d pay to tell me what’s cool, but as long as The Automator’s picking the tracks, I’ll be in line with money in hand. This Monkey is worth buying at any price.
Sequence Records: http://www.sequencerecords.com