New York sextet release their hip hop debut, produced by feted duo DFA
Anyone who spots the DFA production credit and brings their assumptions to this party is in for something of a surprise. Automato have nothing to do with punk-funk revisionism, and rather share the spirit of leftfield hip hop imprint Definitive Jux. Their debut album is a triumph of sample-based, groove-cutting rap that shifts ground with every attempt to pin it down, moving from Can through Afrika Bambaataa and David Axelrod on to the Beastie Boys and then to El-P. The unhinged “Hope” suggests Automato are fans of The Mars Volta, but “The Let Go” sets conscious rhymes against a cool, digi-funk pulse, managing to sound both decidedly moderne and thrillingly contretemps.