While performing a show last night at Denver’s Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, Dan The Automator confirmed to the audience that a brand new Dr. Octagon album has been recorded.
The forthcoming album, which has yet to be named, will be the first Dr. Octagon album since the debut Dr. Octagonecologyst, released in 1996. Dr. Octagon is an alias, character, and project created by Keith Thornton, or Kool Keith, who started his musical career with the Ultramagentic MCs. Dr. Octagonecologyst was produced by Dan The Automator and also features mixing and scratching by DJ Qbert, which has been noted as fundamental to the album and innovative for the world of hip hop.
While in Denver, Dan The Automator was performing alongside DJ Qbert. Mr. Lif of Thievery Corporation was also present at the show, and made a statement on Dr. Octagon as well as the album’s significance. Lif stated, “I’ve gotta tell y’all how much that Dr. Octagon record meant to me. First of all, that’s when I first came into contact with the work of Dan The Automator and my homeboy Qbert … that shit blew my mind.” View the full video of Mr. Lif below.
Although Dr. Octagonecologyst never received critical acclaim, it developed a cult appreciation and was renowned within underground hip-hop at the time. Next month on May 19 the album will be re-released by Get On Down records, to include 28 tracks on three vinyl records with five that are previously unreleased cuts, as well as a 40-page booklet written by author Brian Coleman. The reissue will be packaged, suitably, in an octagonal box.
The character Dr. Octagon is a homicidal, alien gynecologist and surgeon. Throughout the album, his patients often die from a lack of proper tools or carelessness on his part. He also performs medical experiments and consistently mistreats his patients or even those who are waiting in his waiting room.
Prior to last nights show, Dan The Automator had told HipHopDX there were new Dr. Octagon songs, but didn’t make it clear that a new album was in the works.
“There are new [Dr. Octagon] songs — let’s put it that way,” Dan says. “Releasing an album is all convoluted and complicated these days. Personally, I think singles are the only way. You kind of waste an album if you put it out there because you get the same amount of press and impact with a single. Maybe we’re going back to a ‘50s and ‘60s vibe where everyone just makes 45s,” he said.
Kool Keith, Dan The Automator and DJ QBert recently performed as Dr. Octagon for the very first time in February in San Francisco and Los Angeles. This month, they also released the previously unheard song “Redeye,” which was recorded in 1996.