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Dan the Automator Biography

Dan the Automator Biography

Dan "the Automator" Nakamura (born Daniel Nakamura in San Francisco, California in 1967) is an American hip-hop and rap producer most known for his work in the mid to late 1990s and early 2000s.

Nakamura's work tends to integrate significant amounts of overlooked 1970s and 1980s kitsch, cult classics, and B-grade 1990s television material. His work also tends to make heavy use of classical music and science fiction overtones and references, the latter with hip hop roots in the space jams of Parliament. Sci-fi also pops up in the hip hop oeuvres of RZA and Jedi Mind Tricks, among others, both in and out of collaborations with Dan the Automator.

Trained in classical violin as a child, Nakamura, who is Japanese American, was more attracted to early electronica and hip-hop. After dabbling as a DJ, he gave up on the skill and instead worked on musical production, taking on small gigs until getting his major break working with Kool Keith.

Nakamura's best known production work includes Kool Keith's commercially successful Dr. Octagon project, and the widely successful trip hop/lo-fi project, Gorillaz. He is also renowned in underground circles for spearheading the critically acclaimed underground projects Handsome Boy Modeling School with Prince Paul; Deltron 3030 with Del tha Funkee Homosapien and Kid Koala; Head Automatica with Daryl Palumbo; Josh Haden; and Lovage with Mike Patton and Jennifer Charles.

He has also had production spots on the albums of several rock groups, most notably on the British group Cornershop's When I Was Born For The 7th Time, Blues Explosion albums ACME and Damage, Primal Scream's XTRMNTR and Little Barrie's Stand your Ground.

Dan has recently created tracks for an Adidas advertisement campaign.


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