Belvedere Jehosophat - Thursday, 31 July 2003
prescript: the horror express review was cruelly excised much like an employer would do to a redundant staff member because it was deemed to be of low standards.
The first time I heard any Prefuse 73 was when he (it's one guy (Scott Herren), not a band) released an album called Vocal Studies and Uprock Narratives. I'd never heard of Prefuse 73 before; I was just drawn to the album cover, which looks like this:
Anyhoo, what I heard that day was so bad I was convinced that the CD player and headphones were broken; it sounded like the CD was skipping.
Listen: what Herren does is sample music—on a sampler, no less—and then combines it all, collage-style, to create hip hop-ish/glitch beats.
However, the first listen to a Prefuse 73 record sounds like a barrage of nonsense, garbage. After several listens the music starts to shine through and it all comes together, much like a crappy Beatles song.
The new album, One Word Extinguisher, is similar in execution to Vocal Studies; it's another collage-style mess. However, unlike the first, the little interludes between songs are actually separated into different tracks. It kind of reminded me of Geogaddi by Boards of Canada, another album in which interludes separated the songs.
Someone had told me that the new album was more straightforward than the previous one. This is somewhat true. I'm more of the opinion that the new album has more of a "pop" feel, which is pretty ridiculous given it often jarring impact.
One Word Extinguisher also features some pretty heavy-duty collaborations. Well, to be honest, I've only actually heard of one of them, the marvelous Mr. Lif, who provides a little rap. Unfortunately, the Mr. Lif song is very short—so short, in fact, that I would almost consider it to be an interlude.
The CD also features a rap from a guy called Diverse and some vocals from a woman called Jenny Vasquez. The other collaborations, (Dabrye, Daedelus and Tommy Guerrero), get credits for helping with the music.
The problem with Prefuse 73 albums, which isn't really a problem at all, is that the songs, at first, have a very fleeting feel. As soon as a song has ended you won't be able to remember exactly what it sounded like; the music is just too complicated—cacophonous, even.
I guess that while it does make the album more difficult to get into it also gives it more value for money, if, indeed, value for money is what you are looking for in music.
I just finished listening to the album now and if I were to listen to it again I can guarantee you that there will be bits that I will swear to never having heard before.
As it stands, One Word Extinguisher, is an amazing little CD. Well worth getting if you happen to be a fan of hip hop beats but still like your music to be a little more experimental.
Prefuse 73 is currently touring Australia; I will be seeing him this Friday. Hopefully the concert will be as good as the CD.
postscript: this cd could be afforded because i now have a full-time job. working for a living is a cunt.
Incidentally, the new album cover looks like this: