Automator Enjoys 'Omakase,' Remixes Beck
Although his second album with Prince Paul as Handsome Boy Modeling School is due in November, producer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura tells Billboard.com he has a host of intriguing projects in variousAlthough his second album with Prince Paul as Handsome Boy Modeling School is due in November, producer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura tells Billboard.com he has a host of intriguing projects in various stages of completion, including his long-in-the-works solo debut, "Omakase."
That set, named after the multi-course, chef-chosen Japanese tasting menu, was intended for release on MCA but delayed when the label was absorbed last year by Geffen. Even Nakamura is unsure when it will eventually see the light of day, admitting, "I'm really proud of that record, but to think about it too much is frustrating."
Still, the star power on "Omakase" should make the wait worthwhile. Among its guests are Nakamura's Gorillaz colleague/Blur vocalist Damon Albarn, Beck, Mos Def, Busta Rhymes, DJ Q-Bert, Black Rob, Beenie Man, John Medeski and the Blue Man Group.
"Damon and Mos Def do a beautiful duet called 'Lonely Man,'" Nakamura reveals. "It's the first and only record I've ever made from start to finish. I did an EP back in '96 but that's about it."
Also percolating is the sophomore album from Deltron 3030, which features Nakamura, rapper Del the Funky Homosapien and turntablist Kid Koala. "We are now currently starting work on that," Nakamura enthuses. "I have done about 12 sketches. I'm going in with Koala on Oct. 15 and we'll start putting some cuts down. Del will be on the road but after that, it's going to be good."
Automator was recently behind the boards to remix "Gospel," expected to be the first single from Beck's as-yet-untitled new Geffen album, tentatively due Oct. 26. He also remixed "Slow Hands," the first single from the new Interpol album, "Antics."
"I just tore it apart and tried to put it back together again," he says. "Even though they have a bit of an electronic persona, they're more of a live band. I put some electronics back into the perception. It came out really nice and it's a fun remix. It pays a proper homage to the original."
As for Gorillaz, which enjoyed worldwide success with its 2002 self-titled debut, expect work to begin on a new album "in the not too too distant distant," according to Nakamura. "Blur got off the road at the end of last year, so it's just a question of timing. It always revolves around schedules."