Prefuse 73 Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian
- Words: Shawn Reynaldo
- Label: Warp
- XLR8R Rating: 7.5/10
In the lightning-quick world of music, it’s easy to forget about an artist like Guillermo Scott Herren (a.k.a. Prefuse 73). Although the man has been firmly entrenched in hip-hop’s leftfield for more than a decade, nearly two years have passed since his latest release—quite an absence given Herren’s previously prolific release schedule and music heads’ increasingly shrinking attention spans. Perhaps sensing that the fitted New Era crowd had all taken to bumping Flying Lotus in the meantime, Herren has returned with a new Prefuse 73 album, Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian. Eschewing digital recording techniques for Ampex tape, Herren’s already emotive take on hip-hop production has been bathed in a warm analog hiss. Yet Everything is no major departure from his past Prefuse output, as listeners will quickly recognize Herren’s IDM-flavored beats, drone-y vocal samples, and ultra-precise editing. A few guests take part in the proceedings (Claudia Deheza from School of Seven Bells, The Gaslamp Killer, Zach Hill), but micro-editing renders their contributions virtually anonymous—it’s clear that Herren is front-and-center here, and this just might be his finest work since 2003’s classic One Word Extinguisher. Blowing through 29 tracks in 48 minutes, Everything certainly harkens back to One Word Extinguisher’s predilection for rapid-fire edits and audio snippets over drawn-out compositions. While Herren is a little manic, frantically jumping from one sonic idea to another (even within the course of a 60-second-or-less song), his expert construction weaves the litany of ideas into a coherent sonic tapestry. Ultimately, the individual tracks on Everything are meaningless—the album plays like a long-lost radio transmission and is best digested as a whole.
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