Hip-hop producer Dan "the Automator" Nakamura is working overtime, putting together projects with Del the Funky Homosapien, El-P of Company Flow, Damon Albarn of Brit-pop band Blur and Father Guido Sarducci, the ecclesiastically garbed comedian, formerly of "Saturday Night Live."
Nakamura, Del the Funky Homosapien and Kid Koala are teaming up for a project called Deltron 3030. Their 12-song, self-titled album, tentatively scheduled for May 23, will follow the intergalactic adventures of three earthmen, according to 75 Ark Records. Nakamura appears as the Cantankerous Captain Aptos.
The Automator is in London recording with Albarn, according to Toni Isabella, director of music operations for 75 Ark. While Albarn, whose band is best known for the 1997 pop-rock hit "Song 2," may have some involvement in the Deltron 3030 project, Isabella said the current recording sessions are for an Albarn solo album. A representative at Blur's record label, Virgin, couldn't be reached for comment.
Also under way is a collaboration with El-P that Nakamura, in a press release, called "a beat record, kind of hardcore futuristic." El-P will co-produce and possibly rhyme on some of the album, but Isabella said another artist, still undetermined, probably will be the principal MC. The album is expected late this year.
The Automator also is joining forces with beatmakers Prince Paul, Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow on a full-length LP. Nakamura said the group project will be mainly instrumental but will feature Father Guido Sarducci's vocals on several tracks. "It's not going to be a comedy record per se, more of a production record 50-percent instrumental, 50-percent Father Guido Sarducci riffing over the tracks," according to Isabella, who said a name for the project and a release date have yet to be set.
The Automator and former Ultramagnetic MC's frontman Kool Keith released Dr. Octagonecologyst under the moniker Dr. Octagon in 1996. The album and the "Blue Flowers" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Earth People" singles have recently been reissued on vinyl by 75 Ark.
Last year, the Automator and Prince Paul, collectively known as Handsome Boy Modeling School, co-produced So How's Your Girl?, with cameos by Del the Funky Homosapien and members of De la Soul and Brand Nubian.