Dan The Automators and Kool Keiths famed collaboration from the mid-90s is celebrated with a 28-track set housed in a custom, octagonal box, with 5 unreleased songs (originals + remixes); original Pushead cover artwork; and 40 page liner notes booklet.
[Dr. Octagonecologyst is] Bordering on something both epic and, to be quite honest, frighteningly fantastic… Destined to become a classic, and not fully appreciated until the next millennium.
– Rap Pages, 1996
It was sci-fi, science and sex. And cannibalism, mixed. Space, sex and Psycho, all at the same time.
– Kool Keith
A1. Intro • A2. 3000 • A3. I Got To Tell You A4. Earth People • A5. No Awareness
B1. Real Raw • B2. General Hospital B3. Blue Flowers • B4. Technical Difficulties B5. Visit To The Gynecologyst
C1. Bear Witness • C2. Dr. Octagon C3. Girl Let Me Touch You • C4. Im Destructive C5. Wild And Crazy
D1. Elective Surgery • D2. Halfsharkhalfalligatorhalfman D3. Blue Flowers (Revisited) D4. Waiting List (DJ Shadow Remix) • D5. 1977
E1. Blue Flowers (Prince Pauls So Beautiful Remix) E2. 3000 (Automator 1 & 2 Remix) E3. Bear Witness (2 Turntables And A Razorblade Edit)
All Songs on Side F have never ever been released before anywhere!
F1. Astro Embalming Fluid • F2. Redeye F3. Ill Be There For You F4. Wild And Crazy (2016 Remix) F5. Im Destructive (2016 Remix)
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. Dres 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 The Automator Nakamura and Kool Keith [Thornton].
In some ways, the Dr. Octagon album is a solo release. But Keith wasnt 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 Dr. Octagon, 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 albums next-level sound: San Franciscos DJ Q*Bert, who cuts on half of the albums songs.
The album originally came out on The Automators Bulk Recordings label in early 1996, with cover art by metal and punk cult hero visual artist Pushead. Pressing numbers werent huge, but as the year went on, the buzz grew, and a slightly expanded version of the album was released on James Lavelles 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 groups first and only video, for Blue Flowers.
Beyond Blue Flowers, the album is chock-full of mind-bending tracks, like Earth People; the wacked-out but sincere love ballad Girl Let Me Touch You; the metal-tinged Im Destructive; Q-Berts turntable workout Bear Witness; and, of course, freaky Keith skits like Elective Surgery and General Hospital.
For this special, ultra deluxe edition, released 20 years after the DreamWorks edition, it is presented on 3-LPs, with one full side consisting of never-before heard songs. Two new remixes (Wild And Crazy and Im Destructive, both done by Dan The Automator in 2016), as well as three songs recorded during the original Octagon sessions but never released on any other editions of the album: Astro Embalming Fluid; Redeye; Ill Be There For You.
All in all, there are 28 tracks of Octagon madness here – an embarrassment of bonus riches, considering that the original Bulk 2-LP had only 19.
The outer package of the set is housed in a custom-made octagonal box, with original front (Pushead) and back cover artwork. Inside, besides the 3-LPs, each housed in their own custom, octagon-shaped sleeve, there is a 40-page liner notes book, with dozens of images – from album artwork to promotional ads – as well as interviews with both Keith and Dan The Automator by author Brian Coleman.
Dr. Octagonecologyst is one of the most unique rap records the genre has ever seen, and this is the perfect way to celebrate it – whether its the first time you have heard this mind-expanding record, or the three thousandth.