Automato

New York sextet release their hip hop debut, produced by feted duo DFA

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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.

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