By the mid-1990s, the rap game had been through a lot in its two decades of existence: Early-days scraping to get by and be heard; The advent of sampling; The rise of groups ranging from Run-DMC to the Wu-Tang Clan and the sprawl of Dr. DreŠ—Ès shadow from the West across the globe; and solo juggernauts ranging from MC Hammer to the Notorious B.I.G.
Thankfully, though, with everything that the genre had been through, there was still a lot of room to grow. And in early 1996, a new indie duo appeared that won over a whole new international audience, from hard rocks to skate punks. That pair was Dr. Octagon: Dan Š—“The AutomatorŠ—? Nakamura and Kool
In some ways, the Dr. Octagon album is a solo release. But Keith wasnŠ—Èt the only hand on deck. He brought along a young, New York-based MC with him: Sir Menelik. Menelik was featured on four album tracks, starting with Š—“Dr. Octagon,Š—? and proved to be an excellent super-scientifical, fast-rhyming foil to Keith. And there was one final featured contributor who helped add to the albumŠ—Ès next-level sound: San FranciscoŠ—Ès DJ Q*Bert, who cuts on half of the albumŠ—Ès songs.
The album originally came out on The AutomatorŠ—Ès Bulk Recordings label in early 1996, with cover art by metal and punk cult hero visual artist Pushead. Pressing numbers werenŠ—Èt huge, but as the year went on, the buzz grew, and a slightly expanded version of the album was released on James LavelleŠ—Ès London-based Mo Wax label. Then Dan took an offer from newly-formed major label DreamWorks, to re-release the album with extra tracks in mid-1997.
The new domestic pressing allowed for a bigger press push, as well as the groupŠ—Ès first and only video, for Š—“Blue Flowers.Š—? Beyond Š—“Blue Flowers,Š—? the album is chock-full of mind-bending tracks, like Š—“Earth PeopleŠ—?; the wacked-out but sincere love ballad Š—“Girl Let Me Touch YouŠ—?; the metal-tinged Š—“IŠ—Èm DestructiveŠ—?; Q-BertŠ—Ès turntable workout Š—“Bear WitnessŠ—?; and, of course, freaky Keith skits like Š—“Elective SurgeryŠ—? and Š—“General HospitalŠ—?.
Dr. Octagonecologyst is one of the most unique rap records the genre has ever seen, and this is the perfect way to celebrate it Š—– whether itŠ—Ès the first time you have heard this mind-expanding record, or the three thousandth.
1) Bear Witness
2) Dr. Octagon
3) Girl Let Me Touch You
4) I'm Destructive
5) Wild And Crazy
1) Elective Surgery
3) Blue Flowers (Revisited)
4) Waiting List (DJ Shadow/Automator Mix)
3) I Got To Tell You
4) Earth People
5) No Awareness
1) Real Raw
2) General Hospital
3) Blue Flowers
4) Technical Difficulties
5) A Visit To The Gynecologist
´Žè1) Blue Flowers (Prince Paul's Beautiful Remix)
2) 3000 (Automator Remix)
3) Bear Witness (Automator's Two Turntables And A Razor Blade Re-Edit)
1) Astro Embalming Fluid
3) I'll Be There
4) Wild And Crazy (2016 Remix)
5) I'm Destructive (2016 Remix)