As a songwriter, I really appreciate innovative production, the implementation of diverse instruments and brevity used appropriately. Recently added to my current producer heroes —Butch Vig, Brian Eno and Kanye West — is Danger Mouse.
Brian Joseph Burton (born July 29, 1977), better known by his stage name Danger Mouse, is a Grammy Award winning, American musician, songwriter and producer. He came to prominence in 2004 when he released The Grey Album, which combined vocal performances from Jay-Z’s The Black Album with instrumentals from The Beatles’ White Album.
He formed Gnarls Barkley with Cee Lo Green and produced their albums St. Elsewhere and The Odd Couple. He produced the second Gorillaz album, 2005’s Demon Days, as well as Beck’s 2008 record, Modern Guilt. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Producer of the Year category five times (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011), and won the award in 2011. In addition, Burton worked with rapper MF Doom as Danger Doom and released the album The Mouse and the Mask and the EP Occult Hymn.
In 2009 he collaborated with James Mercer of the indie rock band The Shins to form Broken Bells. The group’s first album was released on March 9, 2010.
Danger Mouse was listed as one of Esquire magazine’s seventy-five most influential people of the 21st century.
The pinnacle of music for me combines soul, rhythm and ambience, and thus I’m a big fan of genre bending like quirky hip hop (Gnarls Barkley) or grooved out alt-rock (Gorillaz). Danger Mouse & Jemini’s Ghetto Pop Life provides such a funktastic experience.
On his recent album, Rome, he collaborates with Italian composer Daniele Luppi, and features guests Jack White and Norah Jones. The addition of orchestration pushes toward the spaghetti western feel, utilizing vintage equipment and musicians featured in the film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with a soundtrack composed by another Italian composer, Ennio Morricone.
Danger Mouse creates great examples of musical escapes, sounds that take to another place and time.