Prefuse 73 Extinguished

[Warp; 2003]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: hip-hop, glitch-hop
Others: Madlib, Savath + Savalas, Delarosa & Asora, Dabrye

Uh-oh. Here we go. Joan of Arc dumped the detritus from their So Much Staying Alive and Lovelessness album on us, and now it's Herren's turn to take out his trimmings. But wait, what's going on here? This sounds just as assured as the album whose sessions these songs were culled from. It's as though *One Word Extinguisher* is a double album now. Sure there aren't quite the gems of "Perverted Undertone" or "90% of My Mind Is with You,” but shit, you've still got some pretty good tracks in this. Many of the tunes are quite brief but still serve as interesting interludes betwixt the limber, light and buttery bounce of songs, like "One For the Crime Scene, A Bullet for Your Time" and the six minute (with a more or less self-explanatory title) "Drum Machine Cello Headwrap."

I don't know about this “glitch” thing, though. Oval? Matmos? I honestly don't get what owning a CD full of just skips splurches can possibly do for me. It seems to me that (while I don't want to completely discount the thought and time the journalist who coined this term might've put into this categorizing -- a difficult thing to do these days) the best of the instrumental hip-hop genre utilizes these glitches and mistakes to break up a groove into interesting detours and mutations. Like on Shadow’s Endtroducing…, Prefuse knows how to keep things interesting amidst hitting your head bobbing buttons. Madlib does likewise with his Shades of Blue, keeping the album from resembling another example of stale usage of otherwise lively Blue Note jazz loops. That I have no conscious affiliation to the glitch sensibility and still get much out of these tracks speaks to this artist’s transcendent skills.

In short, if you liked his past work, you can't go wrong here. Like Boards of Canada, it's a nice thing that Prefuse is keeping to his established sound. And Extinguished is nowhere near dull enough to be considered monotonous. Also, if you don't mind having to write long song titles (not to mention some pretty hilarious ones) on your CD compilations, you've got 20 here to exercise your typing fingers with. The only problem that the undeniable quality this release poses is whether or not rags are to include two Prefuse 73 albums on their end of the year list. I say why the hell not. This guy's more than earned it (though I still think this and One Word Extinguisher could've made one fine double album).

So I'll close this review by sending a hearty hats-off to the studio wizard Scott Herren. Keep up the good work, man!

1. Suite for the Ways Things Change
2. Tel Aviv's Gravel Toothbrush
3. Pase Tock's Preestyle
4. I Got No Time for Rearviews
5. Dubs That Don't Match
6. Between Man and Woman
7. Martinique Was My Girl
8. Culturaluhorgasm
9. Whisper in My Ear to Tell Me You Hate Me
10. One for the Crime Scene, A Bullet for You Time
11. Vikings Invade the Mediterranean But Don't Leave
12. Diarrhea Takes Over Your Life
13. I Can't Get My Eyes Off
14. For Some But Not for Me
15. Sao Paulo Arkansas
16. Coming into Something Better
17. Humor Judgements
18. Wronge Posture
19. 3 Sounds from 94
20. Robot Snares Got No Cadence or Balance
21. Kev Intro 99
22. Drum Machine, Cello, Headwrap
23. If They Died and They Were Yours