Instrumentalyst Rap's power may lie in its rhymes, but don't tell that to Dr. Octagon. Like fellow West Coast sound collagist DJ Shadow, DJ Dan Nakamura… Instrumentalyst Rap's power may lie in its rhymes, but don't tell that to Dr. Octagon. Like fellow West Coast sound collagist DJ Shadow, DJ Dan Nakamura…
Music Review

Instrumentalyst

EW's GRADE
A-

Rap's power may lie in its rhymes, but don't tell that to Dr. Octagon. Like fellow West Coast sound collagist DJ Shadow, DJ Dan Nakamura (a.k.a. Automator, half of Dr. Octagon) punches up beats and then layers anything musical — flutes, turntable scratches, metal guitars, Pachelbel's Canon — over them. The result (first released in 1996 on an indie) is instrumental hip-hop that's beautiful, creepy, and compelling, sometimes all at once. Stick with Instrumentalyst, though. Dr. Octagonecologyst, the same tracks but with the inane, often gruesome raps of Kool Keith, is an appointment worth missing. A-

Originally posted May 01, 2008 Published in issue #382 Jun 06, 1997 Order article reprints