Hive Five: Underrated Danger Mouse Collaborations

Danger Mouse performs with Broken Bells, December 2010. Photo: Karl Walter/Getty Images

This week marks the return of Danger Mouse and yet another collaboration — this time with Italian composer Daniele Luppi on Rome, fifteen tracks of Spaghetti Western-influenced music that features contributions from Norah Jones and Jack White. That Danger Mouse is joining forces with the superstars of today isn’t a surprise. Throughout his career, however, he’s also teamed with lesser-known artists that further demonstrate the breadth of his talents. Here’s five we recommend:

1. Danger Mouse & Jemini: “Ghetto Pop Life”

Before he made headlines with The Grey Album, Danger Mouse joined forces with Brooklyn rapper Jemini for a hip-hop record heavy on the hooks. Check out the video for “What U Sittin’ On” here.

2. Danger Mouse and MF Doom: “Danger Doom”

Danger Mouse’s collaboration with underground hip-hop artist/mask lover MF Doom was a precursor to the fame he’d find with Gnarls Barkley a year later. Check out the song “Space Ho” here.

3. Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse: “Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain”

At the request of Mark Linkous, Danger Mouse took on the production duties for the long-overdue Sparklehorse record, which found them both bonding over the love of the Beatles. The result is a downtrodden, psych-rock record that laid the groundwork for Broken Bells‘ sound. Check out the gorgeous “Some Sweet Day” here.

4. Black Keys: “Tighten Up” (single)

While Danger Mouse was largely involved in the Black Keys 2008 effort Attack & Release, he also provided the production on “Tighten Up,” the first single from 2010′s Brothers. Listen to it here.

5. Joker’s Daughter: “The Last Laugh”

After exchanging emails with British songstress Helena Costas, Danger Mouse agreed to take on production around her first album. While it didn’t receive the fanfare that most of his work does, the record displays his talent for working with the female voice – a rarity for him. Check out the bizarre video for “Lucid” here.

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