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Lovage

Dan "The Automator" Nakamura is a San Francisco-based hip-hop producer whose work with "Kool" Keith Thornton on the latter's Dr. Octagon project shot him to unlikely acclaim in 1996. With a series of ever more elaborate conceptual projects since then, Nakamura's wildly imaginative productions and offbeat sense of humor made him one of the leading figures in the underground renaissance of alternative rap in the late '90s.

A classically trained violinist in his younger days, Nakamura instead fell in love with Kraftwerk and old-school hip-hop, as well as R&B and rock & roll. He began DJing as a teenager but was discouraged by the advanced skills of some younger Bay Area DJs (i.e., the ones who would go on to form the legendary Invisibl Skratch Piklz collective). Nakamura instead turned his attention to crafting his own productions, accepting gigs around the Bay Area through the early '90s, which eventually culminated in the Dr. Octagon project in 1995. A lo-fi fusion of hip-hop beats and bizarre atmospherics on par with some of the weirder exports from the U.K. trip-hop scene, Dr. Octagon was released by the tiny Bulk Recordings label in 1995 and achieved a level of overground success increasingly rare in hip-hop's pop-monopolized marketplace when it was reissued by DreamWorks a year later. Propelled by Thornton's pornographic rhymes and mind-bending meter, the record owed its success in equal measure to Nakamura's inventive production, which wed loping, downtempo rhythms with, by turns, weeping violins, space-born bleeps and wiggles, and heavy metal guitar riffs. Not Nakamura's freshman effort by a long shot, the two had actually worked together (with Thornton appearing as Sinister 6000) on Nakamura's debut Automator release, the Better Tomorrow EP, appearing on SF's Ubiquity label in early 1996. Nakamura's studio, The Glue Factory, also served as the workshop for recordings by Mo' Wax's DJ Shadow and for various artists on the latter's Solesides label (most notably on Latyrx's The Album).

When Thornton decided not to tour behind his Dr. Octagon alias, Nakamura racked up a host of other mix and production credits, including Primal Scream, the Eels, DJ Krush, a collaboration with Dust Brother Mike Simpson for Cornershop (several tracks on 1997's acclaimed When I Was Born for the 7th Time), and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (1998's Acme). Nakamura then teamed up with former De La Soul producer Prince Paul as Handsome Boy Modeling School, a reference to an episode of the Chris Elliott sitcom Get a Life. In 1999, the duo released an album titled So...How's Your Girl?, a freewheeling hodgepodge of old-school hip-hop, new-school trip-hop, crazed sampling (including plenty of Elliott dialogue), and all-star cameos. The record marked Nakamura as a figure to watch, and that reputation was confirmed with 2000's Deltron 3030 project, a collaboration with rapper Del tha Funkee Homosapien and DJ Kid Koala. The trio's self-titled debut was an elaborate science-fiction concept album set in a bleak and distant future, and Nakamura's detailed, cinematic production offered a rich and believable soundtrack. That same year, Nakamura issued a retooled version of his debut EP (with several extra tracks) under the title A Much Better Tomorrow on the hip-hop-oriented label 75 Ark.

In 2001, Nakamura snared his widest audience yet with the cartoon band Gorillaz, an eclectic collaboration with Blur's Damon Albarn, artist Jamie Hewlett, Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori, and former Talking Heads Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth. Their barely classifiable self-titled debut was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, going platinum in the U.S. and spawning Nakamura's first major hit single, "Clint Eastwood." Next, Nakamura returned to his Nathaniel Merriweather alias (from the Handsome Boy Modeling School album) for Lovage, a lounge-flavored, Serge Gainsbourg-influenced project that featured vocalists Jennifer Charles (Elysian Fields) and Mike Patton (Faith No More). The Lovage album Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By was released before the end of 2001. Nakamura kicked off 2002 by releasing his first-ever mix album, the well-received Wanna Buy a Monkey?: A Mixtape Session.

Despite the fact there were many promises for a solo album, titled Omakase, label issues caused it to be shelved, but in 2004, the Automator teamed up with Daryl Palumba to form Head Automatica (at least in its initial conception) and release Decadence. In 2006, he produced the tracks for 2K7, the soundtrack to the video game of the same name, which featured performances from E-40, Ghostface Killah, and Slim Thug (though of course an instrumental version was also offered). ~ Sean Cooper & Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life.
Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started
reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your
lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
Love Lovage. So sensual Jenifer's voice
omfg
Wonderful seducement
Forgot bout these guys have there cd somewhere collecting dust.
and i also agree sexy smexy voice work. 'Lifeboat i dig it
just ordered both the instrumental and regular version of this. cant wait to listen to it in its entirety
Elysian Fields and Faith No More; are they groups or songs? I'm confused. However, this Nakamura fellow, intrigues me to no end!!! ;-) :-P
Mastermind.
Mike Patton has the sexiest voice, this is the best album to have a bath too with a bottle of something... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I'm really late on discovering this album, but better late than never. Jennifer Charles and Mike Patton's vocals work so smoothly together.
Love anything trip-hop ish and can be classified as chill music. Lovage definitely delivers. Add Mike Patton's rich voice and you got gold!
Dope music
Lovage is amazing. And Mike Patton is a genius.
stroking what its all about is this song realy about what I've always thought it was about???
Yea most people wouldn't take the time to like this kinda music.thats why I know me and my girl are ment to be.i introduced her to my style of music and she loves it.it deffinetly brings us closer together.f.c cahuna is on now.gotta go
My dream is that one day Nakamura makes Music to make love to your old man to - a sequel to this album. So damn sexy.
mdsnln
never realized until reading that bio that so many of my favorite artists were all so connected to one another...
Lovage: Book of the Month=sexy!
madglee
This sounds like Thrill Kill Kult.
Pit stop sounds like mike patton had something to do with it... ??
The jury is still out on this album.
bannerpromo
@ Jeremy-
Bull Crap
That never happened
I love listening to this when I'm studying or getting the wife in the mood. Amazing what you can accomplish to this song. LOL.
one time i pooped and didn't wipe
This is such a wicked song. I love the cheesy album cover.
One of my favorite songs of all time
Strocker Ace is an ACE!!!
ALL TIME FAV TIZ SONG!
derek624
why did they only make one album?! They could have hit the bank and made it all the way.
massiveatk
Dan is the man!
gwleon6
Thumbs up to anything Mike Patton had a hand in.
been listening to this album for years. I still draw some of my comic characters to this album
robertjowers 4
The Automator does it again..
Lovage makes the rockin world go round
mmmmmmmmmmm. . . Sunday Morning with Lovage and a Love Hangover...
been listening to this for quite awhile. super good. mike patton doesn't do anything bad.
sweet...
gthesob
I hope they get together and make another one.
Nakamura's work in this thing is too delicious. Couldn't stand anything hiphop before I met this piece of brilliance.
Nothing else comes close. Though Handsome boy modeling catches some of that same jazzy stuff.
triphop+jazz : excellence.
There is an instrumental version. The covers are very similar, but not identical. Check for it on eBay.
mstricklan
There is an instrumental version of this album. I got it by mistake through Amazon. The covers were identical.
paranoid420_
This is so porn music!
instrumental album????... . i dont think so. If there is than why they f haven't i heard it.
I prefer the instrumental Lovage album more, but this is still pretty amazing.
many of the tracks give me the same feeling I get with Touch and Go's "Straight to number 1" and Queen Latifah's "How Do I Love Thee" a general tingling, feel every movement of air on skin. . . slightest touch causes an audible reaction, catching of breath
shoebibble_1 3
love this album, someone should definitely use one of their songs for a hot sex scene in a movie it's perfect
i love this cd adn it shows the true range of Dan the automator. not only that the strocker ace amazing i love the whole album just herd it for the first time 2 days ago.
huhjustabox
Great album
hope there is another in the future
Dan the Automator always comes correct! His best stuff was on Del's Deltron 3030.
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