Danger Mouse


Danger Mouse was born Brian Burton in New York state. A rap obsessive by the time he entered the University of Georgia, he started hanging out with a group of musicians loosely called the Elephant 6 collective. This inspired his first project, Pelican City, a largely instrumental piece of work complete with drum machine beats and occasional contributions from members of Elephant 6.

His Danger Mouse alter-ego was a name invented for DJ gigs he would perform, and mixtapes he'd put out during the early Pelican City days. The mixtapes notably contained many mashups. Eventually, Danger Mouse would become the name for all his work. By the time he released his calling card to the world, The Grey Album, Danger Mouse had already made enough of a splash on the local scene to be working on albums with rapper Jemini (Ghetto Pop Life, released 2004), MF Doom, and Cee-Lo. However it was this ingenious mashup of Jay-Z's Black Album with The Beatles' White Album that captapulted him to the forefront of the music scene upon its release in early 2004. Receiving critical acclaim across the board, only 3000 copies were ever pressed but millions were downloaded, especially after the online community reacted in protest at cease and desist letters sent by EMI (rights holders to the Beatles' recordings).

When Damon Albarn heard a copy of the Grey Album, he realised that whoever had created this masterful meld of Hip Hop and pop rock traditions had just what he needed to unite these styles for the second Gorillaz album. Calls were made, and within weeks Danger Mouse had jetted out to London for some trial sessions. Within days of that he was officially onboard as producer for Demon Days, his attention to detail, intricate layered effects and celebrity musician contacts all coming in equally handy. On its release the album outsold the Gorillaz debut and firmly established Danger Mouse as one of the hottest young producers in the game.

After the release of Demon Days, Danger Mouse was able to bring two longterm projects to fruition. Firstly DangerDoom, his parntership with celebrated underground rapper MF Doom excited and amused to equal effect upon its 2005 debut release The Mouse And The Mask - Doom's zany rhymes and Danger Mouse's compelling beats making for one of the most interesting Hip Hop albums of the year. Then finally in 2006 the Gnarls Barkley album St.Elsewhere (his collaboration with Cee-Lo) was released on the back of the worldwide smash hit Crazy (#1 UK, #2 US) which looked set to match or even better Gorillaz' sales. Alongside all this, he managed to keep half a dozen other projects on the go and more will see release in the coming months and years.

2007 sees the release of the album The Good The Bad And The Queen for which Danger Mouse again acted as producer. He was asked by Damon Albarn to look at the initial material during the Demon Days sessions, but once he came onboard the direction of the project changed dramatically, away from an Afrocentric sound to a more Anglocentric one, but which successfully embraced the range of influences that Albarn had been drawn to throughout his career. Such was Albarn's trust in the young producer that he even gave him the ultimate honour of selecting the tracklisting and running order. Not officially part of the band, Danger Mouses' contribution to The Good The Bad And The Queen is nonetheless second to none.



 
 

The Grey Album - Danger Mouse

The Grey Album

Danger Mouse

(2004)

[Not available to buy commercially, though copies can still be found on the internet...]

Essentially a mashup record exclusively using beats from The Beatles' White Album and Jay-Z's vocals from his Black Album, this was initially only released in very limited promo quantities. However partly due to the inspiration of the idea and partly due to the deft skill with which the Danger Mouse married the two records, it was widely bootlegged and reviewed by popular mainstream publications. Eventually word got back to EMI (rightsholders of The Beatles sound recordings) who issued a cease and desist. Like most attempts at music censorship this backfired spectacularly in the wake of the increased publicity. It's easy to forget after all the controversy that at its heart this is a highly accomplished, fun and enjoyable record.
 

Lex Records

Lex Records

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The official home to the Danger Mouse and Jemini collaboration, this site features all the latest news from the duo including tantalising details of the as-yet unreleased sequel to their debut, working title 'Kill Your Heroes'.
 
Ghetto Pop Life - Danger Mouse and Jemini

Ghetto Pop Life

Danger Mouse and Jemini

(2004)

Buy US | Buy UK

At the time, the release of this, Danger Mouse's first full length commercially released LP, was overshadowed by the Grey Album furore. Which was a shame because this album finds the creative producer is willing to draw from everything from old '50s pop tunes to smoky funk, underscored by his intricate drum programming. Jemini's presence is immediately felt - his distinct voice, acrobatic verbal skills, and quick wit make for a memorable combination. The synergy of his tough voice and Mouse's free base soundscapes makes for a riveting debut.
 

DangerDoom.com

DangerDoom.com

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Official site featuring exclusive videos and downloads, and a forum with an active community of Doom, Mouse and Adult Swim fans.
 
The Mouse And The Mask - Danger Doom

The Mouse And The Mask

Danger Doom

(2005)

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This album again sees Danger Mouse supplying the beats and a rapper - in the form of acclaimed underground MC MF Doom - holding it down with the raps. Loosely inspired by Cartoon Network's late night programming slot 'Adult Swim', the beats are often as crazy as the occasional cartoon samples. Doom, with his near obsession with masked identities and superhero personas, and Mouse, with his murky, ethereal soundscapes that cloud men's minds like Mandrake, were the perfect partners for the project, and the result is a blast from start to finish.
 

GnarlsBarkley.com

GnarlsBarkley.com

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Regularly updated news (for an official site), background information and another large community on the forums. Really nice design as well, which rounds off this great site.
 
St.Elsewhere - Gnarls Barkley

St. Elsewhere

Gnarls Barkley

(2006)

Buy US | Buy UK

On this record, rapper and singer Cee-Lo, a veteran of Atlanta's Dirty South scene, and never one to be constrained by hip-hop conventions, provided Danger Mouse's foil. The resulting intrepid psychedelic blend of pop, hip-hop, soul, and rock consistently challenges and delights. Lead single 'Crazy' became an internet sensation over 6 months prior to release, and eventually reached the higher echelons of almost every music chart worldwide. Danger Mouse continues to break boundaries on this, his most successful record to date.
 

Gorillaz.com

Gorillaz.com

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The virtual home of Gorillaz, the band behind the album Demon Days (to which Danger Mouse supplies the beats). Snippets of his work with the band are hidden all over this adventure-game-esque flash site, so take some time and seek them all out!.
         







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