As the first mixed compilation heís released in his decades-long career, Wanna Buy a Monkey? is jam-packed with the vision, musicality, creativity, playfulness, and skill for which the Automator is utterly notorious. Craftily weaving together an array of various musical styles, the Automator has his audience yet again asking, "what canít he do?"
Now for his third LP release in a year Dan drops on us a mixed compilation of some of the acts he has provided backings for. Source / Wordplay have seen the light and have picked this up for distribution over here and it is something all of youse need to open your ears to. Opening with a cut up intro of Santomas' Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion, the LP swiftly moves on to a banging Brand Nubian track - Rockin' It and Black Rob's Smoothness freestyle, something they recorded 10 years ago before they were both famous. These tracks are followed by Deltron 3030 and Del laying down the Positive Contact track. Dan The Automator lays down the deepest bets for any Hip Hop head to nod to. Moving along we get the more poppy sounds of Air's Le Soleil Est Pres De Moi, a remix Dan did before they even had an LP out, just because he liked their sound and vibe and Destiny by Zero 7. The compilation moves, through the more eclectic styles of Seneca by Tortoise, The Doves' Fire Suite and Stoker Ace by Lovage proving that Dan can turn his hand to replicating any genre and imbibing his own influence and direction. Some of these tracks weren't that big in America, and are under acknowledged, Dan says he this is why he has specifically included them, not just because he appreciates them or because they gel, although they do!
By track 10 we have the smooth refreshing latino sounds of The Rhumba with Bobby Digital on the Mic. Being one of the main movers behind the Gorillaz along with Damon Albarn of Blur, who Dan is also known to appreciate, the record wouldn't be complete without one of their tracks and Latin Simone is included here. To round up the LP he brings it back on to a Hip Hop vibe with tracks he produced from De La Soul's Bionix, Master Ace's Don't Understand and Jigmastas' Don't Get It Twisted. The CD is thankfully largly un-mixed with the records just cutting from one to the other near the ends, but we get a taste of DJ skills with the X-Ecutioners Theme Song where they let rip just before the the Dilated Peoples' Clockwork and the outro of the LP which comes all too soon..
Overall this is a great LP with a wide selection of some of the best tracks from Dan the Automator's portfolio. Not sticking to one particular genre the LP takes the listener on a trip round the sounds of the US and the Caribbean in a lazy slow paced way. Dan can obviously get the best out of the musicians he chooses to work with and possibly has used his name to work with some unlikely names, not just sticking to the usual Hip Hop street beats one might expect him to. He has an open mind with regards to making music and doesn't stick to what maybe your preconceptions would dictate he produces.