Automator - A Much Better Tomorrow LP
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Automator
A Much Better Tomorrow LP

Dan the Automator is the main man behind not only last years classic self-titled Deltron 3030 release, but also behind the beats on the now infamous Dr. Octagon release Dr. Octagonacologist. Both releases showed an absolute mastery of beats and played with all kinds of interesting dynamics and in addition to those two projects, he's also had a hand in tons of other releases as well (including Handsome Boys Modeling School).

Released way back in 1996, A Better Tomorrow EP was the precursor to the above mentioned Dr. Octagon album and was mainly an instrumental affair, although two tracks (of the 5) had raps by Neph the Madman and Poet. As you may expect, A Much Better Tomorrow LP is actually just an extension of that earlier EP, with 6 new tracks added to fill things out for those who might not have picked it up when it was first released (and before Dan the Automator was such a big name). The cool thing is that the 6 new tracks again feature Kool Keith (this time taking the name Sinister 6000), so if you liked the Dr. Octagon disc, this is a must have (although lyrically it's a lot different).

Musically, Dan the Automator delivers as usual with big ass beats and little jazzy florishes that give each track just the right amount of flavor behind Keith's wacky vocals. Instead of taking the maniac surgeon route, the raps on this disc are mainly of the old-school braggadocio. In fact, I think that most people will probably find that they enjoy the newer tracks even better than the old ones given the vocal stylings of Keith. Both parts of the self-titled track feature huge, bumping beats and some very deep low-end rumbles, and are just about as haunting as anything off the Dr. Octagon album, while "King Of New York" absolutely struts with a nice touch of piano and some hollowed-out beats.

That's not the end of it, though, as "Cartoon Capers" features some of those trademark loopy lyrics by Keith and bizzarre backing by Automator while "It's Over Now" actually manages to sound sexy (if you can keep the image of Dr. Octagon out of your head long enough). The other tracks on the release are decent (although the lyrical turns from Neph the Madman and Poet feel like weak gangsta stuff after the surreal touches of Keith). The instrumental tracks are fairly solid down-tempo numbers with nice jazzy touches though, and for the price of the release, you're not going to go wrong.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00