Automator A Much Better Tomorrow LP

Previously released in a shorter version as A Better Tomorrow EP, Dan the Automator's new A Much Better Tomorrow LP is the third album in the last couple of months to heavily feature Kool Keith - the other two being his Matthew solo and the Analog Brothers' Pimp To Eat, with Ice T. The six tracks Kool Keith appears on pre-date the dramatic Dr Octagon split that forced a wedge between the partnership of Dan and Keith. These tracks, especially "A Better Tomorrow Pt 2," "Cartoon Capers" and "It's Over Now," all demonstrate a creative partnership that is rarely found in hip-hop. The beats aren't really that similar to Dr Octagon (the biggest project they did together, along with DJ Q-Bert of Invisibl Skratch Piklz fame), but they reveal a producer who can make beats that expose the various personalities of Kool Keith's different characters. Plus, he also throws together a couple that are equally able to suit the New York flavour of Neph the Madman (on "Wiling") and Poet (on "Buck Buck"), plus drop a few beats that are nice just on their own. If you missed the EP the first time around do yourself a favour and prepare for A Much Better Tomorrow. (75 Ark)