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by
1 January, 2002@12:00 am
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All we wanted was an instrumental album. After being thoroughly impressed (yet again) by Dan The Automator’s leap into the alternative-rock genre with last year’s surprise mainstream smash, Gorillaz, (which initially only got hip-hop’s attention thanks to the two Del The Funkee Homosapien tracks), it seemed a bit uncharacteristic of Dan to leave us hanging without an instrumental version of the album; after all, a good percentage of the fans gave the non-vocal versions of both Dr. Octagon and Deltron 3030 hella burn.

But as always, Automator has outdone himself once again, and delivered us something more than an instrumental album, but a completely remixed version of the Gorillaz now classic LP by dub chieftains, the Space Monkeyz! Lakia Come Home not only sets precedent for a form of music that we are probably all sleeping on, but also celebrates the original Gorillaz album through a number of subtle interpolations and bass-heavy beats built upon a few samples from each track on the original version of the album.

Whereas the original Gorillaz album was a salute to all forms of music - hip-hop, rock, pop, funk, country – Lakia Come Home is strictly rub-a-dub. To fully appreciate this album, it would probably be best to abandon everything you remember from the original release, and simply let it play and see where it takes you. So don’t look for Del to rock the house on the “Clint Eastwood” remix, (“A Fistfull of Peanuts”), but instead peep how the Space Monkeyz build an entirely new composition based solely on the original song’s harmonica, a Damon Albarn “I ain’t happy” vocal sample, and added bass riddims and refreaked pianos, mon. Same goes for the rest of the album, each song delightfully reinterpreted - “Punk” is wonderfully “De-Punked”, “Slow Country” evolves to “Strictly Rubbadub (Version, Hidden Track)”, and “Re-Hash” is anything but on “Come Again”. While the entire album plays through effortlessly from start to finish, its true highlights are “Dub 09 (Starshine)”, which sounds as if it was meant to be remixed in dub; not to mention “Mutant Genius”, (born from “New Genius”) which comes in brilliantly with it’s addictive organs.

It’s not only a fully remixed project that plays giftedly from start to finish, but also a great argument for those in favor of the art of sampling. Best of all, it can be appreciated equally by fans of the original, as well as those who slept, (but most likely a little more by their legions of simian followers). While it’s title conjures up images of a bad after-school special involving a missing baby chimp, whether you are cruising the late night city streets, soaking in the atmosphere of a smoke filled room, or on an island somewhere sipping on pina colada, Lakia Come Home somehow creates the mood of your surroundings for you. After G-Sides, it didn’t seem possible that the Gorillaz album could be remixed any more than it already has been, but The Automator has once again impressed us with his natural knack for innovation. Now how bout that instrumental album, Danny boy?

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