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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. From the East Intro|
|2. Beaten Thursdays|
|3. Aborted Hugs|
|4. The Class Of 73 Bells|
|5. Girlfriend Boyfriend|
|6. Smoking Red|
|7. Prog Version Slowly Crushed|
|8. Noreaster Cheer|
|9. Let It Ring|
|10. 17 Seconds Interlude|
|11. I Knew You Were Gonna Go|
|12. Pomade Suite Version One|
|13. Spaced & Dissonant|
|14. Preparation Outro Version|
Limited edition two CD pressing of the 2007 release from the experimental Hip Hop producer featuring a bonus disc of Classical compositions entitled Ensembles. By focusing on the foundations of his creative process and less on the intricacies of his trademark editing and chopping magic, Preparations offers listeners everything they expect from Prefuse 73 plus plenty of new ideas. Includes collaborations with School Of Seven Bells and John Stanier (Battles/Helmet/Tomahawk. Warp.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The "Prefuse 73 Can Do No Wrong Era" was quickly followed by the "Era In Which Prefuse 73 Started to Suck," when 2005's Surrounded by Silence floundered under mixed reviews and confused fan reactions. Most chalked it up to the excess of guest artists and forgave him. 2006's Security Screenings--which Herren called a "non-album"--was a tossed-off effort whose only conceivable purpose was to give Herren something to do in between side projects, and many were willing to treat it as a stopgap and forgive him for that, too. Now it's 2007, Herren's run out of excuses, and we have a new Prefuse record called Preparations (which includes a full-length bonus disc of new material called Interregnums). If you're like me, you ordered your copy of Preparations two weeks in advance, eagerly waited for it to arrive in the mail, opened the plastic wrap, popped Preparations into the disc drive, prayed for the "Era In Which Prefuse 73 Finally Redeems Himself," pressed play, and....
Well, I'll just burst the bubble now: Preparations isn't very good. Yet it fails so strangely that anyone who cares about Prefuse's career would have trouble dismissing it outright. Neither an unholy mess like Surrounded nor a half-baked EP in disguise like Screenings, Preparations is a peculiar combinination of basic Prefuse boom bap (albeit with less boom and bap), bizarre melodic passages, ill-fitted samples and unfortunate collaborations. Herren's greatest strength has always been creating euphony from heterogeneous parts, so Preparations' inability to jell on a number of levels could be considered its cardinal weakness, and it makes the ordeal a slog even at a brief 46 minutes.
This being Prefuse 73, the productions are appropriately busy and labored-over, and if Machine Drum were to release something this intricate, we'd throw him a party. But held up to what we know Prefuse is capable of, a song like "Beaten Thursdays" sounds pretty lame, with microwave-zapped bell tones and a bassless beat that amble toward an anticlimactic finish. The stronger songs here are amorphous, forgettable blobs of gauzy synths and vocal "oohs" and "ahhs," like most of Leyode's Fascinating Tininess executed with far less passion. But even these songs contain at least one unsavory shard that jolts us out of what little reverie we might be in. In "Noreaster Cheer," it's a death metal stomp in the midsection; in "Pomade Suite Version One," it's a set of dumb samples at the beginning of the track that didn't make me want to listen to the rest.
Such is the manner in which awkward moments nudge up against bland ones on Preparations. Unfortunately, whole songs are awkward too. Are those discordant plucked strings on "Aborted Hugs" for real? What on Earth is that circus-themed honking on "Spaced + Dissonant"? Sadly, "The Class of 73 Bells" and "Smoking Red" prove that Herren hasn't gotten better at assimilating guest artists since Surrounded by Silence. School of Seven Bells' singer Claudia Dehaza once collaborated with Herren on a wonderful and exotic project called A Cloud Mireya. I had hoped that "The Class of 73 Bells" would recreate some Cloud Mireya magic, but no; it simply sits there in a key too tepid for poor Ms. Dehaza to work with. And "Smoking Red" is just a buzzy showcase for John Stainer's cinderblock-heavy drum line--the first one I learned to play in middle school.
The bonus disc, Interregnums, should come as a surprise, since it doesn't conform at all to Prefuse 73 proper. The other surprise is that it's lovely (and if you're wondering how Preparations managed to drag itself up to three stars, look no further); synths, orchestral instruments and angelic voices move around each other in beatless reverie, always flagrantly emotional and covering a startling range of feelings. So, it seems, this is where Herren's heart now resides. In interviews he reveals a growing distaste for hip-hop, and pours increasingly more energy into his esoteric, Catalan-flavored project Savath y Savalas--a band that listeners have never clung to with the fervidness they save for Prefuse 73. So perhaps Herren hasn't lost his genius--just his interest. At the very least, Preparations will impel us to approach One Word Extinguisher and the rest of his early successes with more appreciative ears.
73 has a knack... for doing this one thing... no one else can do(like him). Cutting together bits and peices of the singer's voices and create beats and music from them. He's incredible at it, and until you hear him do it, you won't understand what I mean. And he does it o so subtly as well! He creates flowing backround beats that at closer attention are really just cut up glitched voices mixed with all sorts of synths and drums. His first two album were really founded upon with this unique style. So as all things go... it just got old.
He made some decent but entirely forgettable hip-hop albums that contained almost all singing and no instrumentals. So it seemed basically the end of an era for him and it seemed to me he was just gonna become another hasbeen producer like RJD2(The third hand) and DJ Shadow(The outsider).
Then this CD came out. And no, it didn't bring back his old sound with avengence... but he manged to do something different. His music is still very Hip-Hop oriented, and he still incorporates his old sound some, but now he has done what many famous producers have done before him, create "a wall of sound". So textured everything just blends together into one pulsing synth. He's entroduced Pianos and strings, and his sound is more fleshed out and much lusher. And its now evident that he can be a very good producer, but still a unique one at that. But as the CD goes on It does start to get older and older... Some tracks become repetetive and some just aren't that good. But the good ones outweigh the bad. His single, CLASS OF 73 BELLS is quite good. Like I stated earlier a thick wall of sound production with his glitchery inside. Quite good... then you have one of the most unqiue tracks i've ever heard GIRLFRIEND BOYFRIEND. Its dense layers are constantly shifting so much as you don't really know what layer of music is the dominant one, and they are all very different sounding.
Overall, not a unique CD but an interesting one to say the least. His bonus CD is also a wonderful Ambient disc. Though beware, it's not downtempo, its even more minimal than that. Very sparse strings and bass notes and thats about it.
Overall more like a 3.5 out of 5 for Preparations and a 4 out of 5 for Interregnums. But I think this is Prefuse definetly heading back in the right direction!
Although watch out for the CD-slip-out. The two CDs are not held at all in the jewel case and will slip out easily. Why not use cardboard?