It would have been easy to dismiss the new Prefuse 73 album during the first listen as ambient noise, almost the way Radiohead's The King of Limbs can easily be dismissed for not being loud at any point. Like the Radiohead album, I think that would be stupid. The Only She Chapters is a whole new plane of existence for Scott Herren and his main alter ego, however, to dismiss as minimalist what really is a complete redefinition and exploration of a new area actually feels like I'd be cheating myself.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Prefuse 73 - The Only Lillies and Lilacs Pt 2
Though he first started releasing music as Delarosa and Asora in the late 90s, the first Prefuse albums established Herren's reputation for glitch-hop - chopped up MC's over static-y, stuttering beats - and turned heads immediately. In the decade that followed, however, the abstract producer has gone all instrumental in some parts, brought in vocalists and experimented with all manner of instruments beyond his sampler, and been all over the place while creating some ear-bending tracks, which makes the drawn out illbient-style productions of The Only She Chapters even more fascinating.
That i-word, illbient, was one of the first that came to mind as this album, from top to bottom, reminds of DJ Spooky's full length debut, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, some of the way out Future Sound of London records in the ISDN-era, and even the 16-minute bliss-outs on early Orb albums. On the Warp Records page for The Only She Chapters, Herren refers to the album as a different way to get at his music. Far from a different way, I'd say it's a whole different mindset, despite some of the sampling sounding distinctly Prefuse.
There are only two ways to listen to this album: turned up really loud on a large stereo system, or turned up really loud on headphones. I've got the headphones route and been seriously rewarded because slapping cans on your ears blocks out any other noise, a good thing considering the voices, tones, and sounds Herren has woven into these intricate recordings.
Some people like to use drugs when they listen to music like The Only She Chapters. If that's your bag, go for it, but realize that this album, itself, at high volumes, is its own drug.
Pre-order The Only She Chapters (and check out a sampler of the album), or buy other Prefuse 73 albums on MP3, CD or vinyl, directly from Warp Records.