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Danger Mouse Biography

Danger Mouse Biography

Brian Joseph Burton, better known by his stage name Danger Mouse, is an American artist and producer. He came to prominence in 2004 when he remixed The Beatles (more commonly known as The White Album) and rapper Jay-Z's The Black Album to create The Grey Album. He formed Gnarls Barkley with Cee-Lo Green and produced their albums St. Elsewhere and The Odd Couple. He produced the second Gorillaz album, 2005's Demon Days, as well as Beck's forthcoming 2008 record. He has been nominated for Producer of the Year. In addition, he worked with rapper MF DOOM as DANGERDOOM, and released one album, The Mouse and the Mask.

Brian Burton was born in White Plains, New York; he spent much of his childhood in Spring Valley, New York and lived in Athens, Georgia for a long time where his electronica [more specifically, trip-hop] work was released under the name "Pelican City". He also remixed work by several local artists, including Neutral Milk Hotel and DJ'd for Athens radio station WUOG-FM. From 1998 to 2003 Burton also created a series of remix CDs and records under the stage name Danger Mouse. He used to do sets in a mouse outfit because he was too shy to show his face, and took his name from the British cartoon series DangerMouse. While in Athens, Burton took second place in a 1998 talent contest and was asked to open for a concert at the University of Georgia featuring OutKast and Goodie Mob. Afterwards, Burton approached Cee-Lo, a member of Goodie Mob, and gave him an instrumental demo tape. It would be several years before the pair made contact again, but the two would eventually collaborate as Gnarls Barkley. Burton moved to England for a couple of years, living in New Cross in London and working at the Rose pub near London Bridge. While he was in the U.K., he sent a demo to Lex Records, who signed him. Burton's first original releases under the name Danger Mouse were his collaborations with rapper Jemini, including the album Ghetto Pop Life, released in 2003 on Lex Records. While the Danger Mouse debut was well received by critics, he did not rise to fame until he created The Grey Album, mixing a cappella versions of Jay Z's The Black Album over beats crafted from samples of The Beatles' White Album. The remix album, originally created just for his friends, spread over the Internet and became very popular with both the general audience and critics, with Rolling Stone calling it "the ultimate remix record" and Entertainment Weekly ranking it the best record of the year. He discusses his feelings about any controversy the album may have created in the documentary Alternative Freedom. Danger Mouse was also named among the Men of the Year by GQ in 2004 and won a 2005 Wired Rave Award.

Danger Mouse interviewed at UCLA Hammer Museum

The Grey Album also got the attention of Damon Albarn, who enlisted Danger Mouse to produce the Gorillaz' second studio album, Demon Days (much to the dismay[citation needed] of Gorillaz' record company EMI, which also holds the rights to The Beatles' records and had previously served cease and desist orders against Danger Mouse over the use of their material on The Grey Album). Danger Mouse technically shares production credits for Demon Days with Jason Cox and James Dring. However, these two are engineers, so Danger Mouse was that albums sole producer for all intents and purposes (though a few songs feature musical contribution from talents such as Ike Turner and Simon Tong). Demon Days earned Burton a Grammy Award nomination for Producer of the Year. In 2006, Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo (as Gnarls Barkley) released their first album, St. Elsewhere, which included the international hit single "Crazy". "Crazy" became the first UK number-one single based solely on downloads. Upcoming releases include the eagerly anticipated second Gnarls Barkley album, a collaboration with Sparklehorse entitled either Sparklemouse or Danger Horse, and a follow-up to Ghetto Pop Life entitled "Kill Your Heroes." "KYH" was scheduled to be released in summer of 2006, but its release has been pushed back to a later date. His official website confirms that he is working with the UK group The Shortwave Set. He has also been working for the past year on a new album with Martina Topley-Bird, formerly Tricky's partner, who works regularly with Gorillaz. This album will probably appear either late this year or at the beginning of next. He was also working on an album with The Black Keys and Ike Turner. Turner's death was expected to cancel the album, but The Black Keys and Danger Mouse are releasing Attack & Release in April of 2008. Danger Mouse will also be producing Beck's new album, which is due out sometime in 2008. It will be the follow-up to his 2006 album, "The Information".


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