DTA, MIA

3030I did some DTA (Dan the Automator) research today, and boy-oh-boy, am I missing a truck-ton of records in THIS discography?! What I dig about this pioneer is his consistency in releasing instrumentals for his notable collaborations. Dr. Octagon, Lovage, and Deltron 3030, to name a tiny few. Deltron 3030, their first album at least (I need to revisit their 2013 follow-up) is classic, early millennial, sophisticated hip hop, and although Del is greatly missing, it’s a refreshing option in rediscovering this classic album.

‘mentals

MentalsPharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde is perfect in every way humanly, or robotically imaginable. Obvious statement. With perfect albums comes countless repeated listens… then a lull, then another listen, then an even bigger lull, then another nostalgic listen, then a lull lasting close to five years. What’s great about this 2004 Instrumentals version, apart from its radiant highlight of J-Swift’s well, swift production is the resounded (uh) freshness it gives to a well-worn (and thoroughly played) album.

I’m becoming an avid fan of instrumentals or show vinyl versions of classic albums (Paul’s Boutique, Abbey Road, Renegades, Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By, Deltron 3030, Check Your Head, Dr. Octagon, and so on). Strip that shit down to its core, and enjoy the purest of prudent beats.

Not Your Mother’s Hip-Hop

DrBy every conceivable understanding of the phrase, Dr. Octagon is without question NOT your mother’s Hip-Hop. Defined by Google as:

hip-hop

noun

1. a style of popular music of US black and Hispanic origin, featuring rap with an electronic backing.

OctagonDr. Octagon is an X-rated barrel-shot through the grotesque-minded brilliance of the lyrical magician Kool Keith, backed with the autonomous production of the genre-bending (never breaking) Mr. Dan Nakamura (AKA Dan the Automator), mingled with the turntable chemist DJ Q-Bert (as well as a slew of genteel guest stars). In short, Dr. Octagon is the last doctor you’ll ever need, because he’s the last doctor you’ll ever see. Your mother would not approve of this disgusting display of Hip-Hop-ery.

What would qualify as “your mother’s Hip-Hop” you ask?

– Fat Boys

– PM Dawn

– Vanilla Ice (after a sixer of Zima)

The doctor is out… call back after midnight to make an appointment with the receptionist.

(Please note that this is not an album review. This has been explicitly stated so that I may repurpose this album for a future, much less lazy-minded post, you dig?)

Often Wrong, Never in Doubt

GR MagsLong and tumultuous is the road to a completed collection. Be it the full 792 cards in the 1990 Topps baseball set, all four collectible Garfield and Odie mugs released by McDonald’s back in 1978, or in this case, my half completed collection of Grand Royal Magazines.

With issue #1 released in 1993 (and one of the three I don’t have), and the final issue, #6, released in 1997, it’s safe to say the Grand Royal team was taking their sweet-ass time publishing these now sought-after mid-90s gems. That initial judgment of a painfully obvious (and very Los Angeles) lackadaisical workflow couldn’t be further from the truth as this current issue, issue #3, is JAM-MUTHA-TRUCKIN’-PACKED! Packed with what, you ask? How about interviews with Dr. Octagon aka Kool Keith, San Pedro’s own Mike Watt, and the Dalai Lama (conducted by Adam Yauch, RIP MCA), a guide to sneaking into hotel pools in the Hollywood area courtesy of Spike Jonze, an in-depth look at the paintings of Evel Knievel, horse racing tips from Pavement’s Bob Nastanovich, and countless, as well as fearlessly stunning, vintage album ads spanning from Weezer’s Pinkerton to Sukia’s Contacto Espacial Con El Tercer Sexo… and all of this by page 37 (of 140)!!

It’s taken me close to 20 years to acquire three of only six Grand Royal Magazines, and it’ll probably take me another 20 to secure the remaining three. The upside, however, is that it’s taken me nearly two decades to ingest the onslaught found within issues 2, 3 and 5, so when my ship finally comes in, I’ll have another 20 years of dynamite reading material at my grubby little fingertips. (Often Wrong, Never in Doubt is the title to Grand Royal Magazine issue #3, btw. A straight lift on my part.)Moog