Dan “The Automator” Nakamura has never met an exceptionally entertaining concept project he didn’t like. Well, at least that’s what you might reasonably deduce based on the Bay Area boardsman’s track record – which boasts such milestones as Kool Keith/Dr. Octagon’s Dr. Octagonecologyst , Handsome Boy Modeling School with Prince Paul, the futurist Deltron 3030 with Del and Kid Koala, and the Gorillaz’s first LP. Having recently completed a much-anticipated Deltron sequel album, the forthcoming Event II , and currently performing around the world with Del and Koala and a full orchestra in tow, Dan put down his conductor’s baton for a moment to share a few thoughts on some of the recordings that changed his life.
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1. The Beach Boys - "God Only Knows" (Capitol, 1966)
Dan the Automator: Practically cinematic. Made me really feel the emotion coming out of the feelings of the lyrics. Just the first notes provoke an emotional reaction.
2. Rolling Stones - "Sympathy for the Devil" (London, 1968)
Dan the Automator: Especially when coupled with the Godard movie . Watching and hearing the genesis of a song from the raw idea to the classic ending never fails to inspire me. I can skip the revolutionary vignettes at this point but the song still stands alone!
Serge Gainsbourg - 3. "Melody" (Philips, 1971)
Dan the Automator: The space the sparseness it’s just beautiful. And yet somehow it hits. I based a whole record around this feeling ( Lovage ).
4. Malcolm McLaren and the World Famous Supreme Team - "D'Ya Like Scratchin'" (Island, 1983)
Dan the Automator: The first time I heard this a lightbulb went off in my head. I understood. I could do this! The naive nature and rawness. Awesome!
5. Eric B. & Rakim - "Eric B. Is President" b/w "My Melody" (Zakia, 1986)
Dan the Automator: Just pure genius. It took rap to the future. Flow incredible.