Prefuse 73 to release Preparations
Prefuse is back. Did he go anywhere? Yes and no. Of course he kept up his schedule of crowd-rocking from Moscow to Mexico City, but most importantly he went back into the studio - by himself this time (and with his one-man orchestra.) Crafting a water-tight set of masterfully composed inimitable tracks, with melodies that evoke the halcyonic spirit of “One Word Extinguisher”, Guillermo Scott Herren has fused and contorted the classic Prefuse 73 sounds that first hit you (kicks, snares, murky textures, samples, screaming, etc.), with experimentation in classical composition and live instrumentation to create some deliciously psychedelic results.
Artist: Prefuse 73
Release date: 10/23/07
Label: Warp Records
Single: Class of 73 Bells
Buy at: Amazon
As a child forced to play the cello, and a talented musician in his own right, Guillermo sought to pick up for the first time as Prefuse 73, a whole ensemble of instruments - cello, piano, guitar bass, flute, clarinet, drums as well as the typical MPC /Turntables / samples. And more impressively with each instrument he resampled himself to create a whole orchestra, lending the record a deliriously textured and rich sound. And so the title ‘Preparations’ has significant meaning; for Prefuse 73 it reflects the distinct nature in which his record was assembled.
Guillermo himself freely admits that his musical output is influenced by his heritage and this has become more evident as his career has progressed; born part Cuban, part Catalan, but bred in America, like many American immigrants his cultural lineage is not straight forward. Consumed by curiousity of his origins, he left the US for Barcelona five years ago, and this move profoundly affected his outlook.
Of course the correlation between this and his output of work as lo-fi folk alias ‘Savath & Savalas’ is evident; ‘Savath & Savalas’ provides for Guillermo an outlet to conjure up exquisitely delicate melodies, his own evolved interpretation of the 70’s Tropicalia and folk scene he so admires.
Through working on ‘Preparations’ in quick succession after ‘Savath…’ it also makes sense that ‘Preparations’ is indebted to his unique identity, giving those kaleidoscopic beats a root.
Whilst Preparations is definitively a solo-thinking Prefuse 73 album, there are still collaborations to be heard. The first features New York wall-of-psych band ‘School Of Seven Bells’, fronted by twin sisters Claudia & Alejandra Deheza. Introduced by Benjamin ‘Secret Machines’ Curtis, also part of ‘School…’, they manage to create the same air of allure and impending danger as the Sirens of Lorelei.
Their turn with Guillermo is a centrepiece of the album; “Class of 73 Bells” swirls with undeniable melodies grounded by Prefuse’s stereo-rattling low-end. Speaking of low-end, if you’ve been to a Battles gig in the last couple of years, you will have heard the punishing kick drum of John Stanier, a professor from the Helmet and Tomahawk schools of rock. On “Red Smoking” the front-and-centre Battles drummer offers a barrage of James Brown-meets-Boris percussion, which Prefuse proceeds to slice and edit at breakneck pace, adding samples at will.
Of course, ‘Class of 73 Bells’ is not the first band Prefuse 73 has sniffed out from the dynamic New York alternative music scene. By our own admission ‘Warp’s finest A&R man’, he is also responsible with hooking Warp up with such fine acts as Battles and new signing, LA beats producer Flying Lotus. It makes sense, for making the different kinds of music he does and using all sorts of ideas, it inevitably puts him in the company of many different types of people.
Many would agree, 2002’s ‘One Word Extinguisher’ and ‘Extinguished Outtakes’ were landmarks, rippling with inimitable production that’s since been infinitely copied. 2005’s ‘Surrounded By Silence’ was a collaborative milestone teaming Prefuse with Ghostface, GZA, Battles’ Tyondai Braxton and The Books, a lofty, exciting musical foray that sailed over many listeners heads. Once again Guillermo Scott Herren presents another Prefuse 73 specialty, and with the organic instrumentation entwined in the contorted beats, Prefuse 73 says more than most artists can on the microphone.
"Preparations" by Prefuse 73 - release date: 10/23/07..