Prefuse 73 Prefuse 73 Reads The Books

[Warp; 2005]

Rating: 4.5/5

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

Let's skip the foreplay. If you're reading this, you know all about Prefuse 73 and The Books. Though both bands inhabit much of the same musical space, it's at opposite ends of the building. Scott Herren is a formidable beat maker, spinning shit that is both fresh and invigorating. Some of hip-hop's heavyweight MCs and best-kept secrets are all over his beats. The Books are two fat cats of acoustic sound collage. Each of the band's three albums has evolved from some ungodly realm of chaos to create the perfect marriage between yesterday's organic roots and tomorrow's electronic experimentation. So what happens when three fellows decide to sonically mingle? The Prefuse 73 by way of The Books EP creation not only uncovers the answers, but also creates more questions.

This isn't Herren deciding to cover The Books, or The Books' foray into the world of hip-hop; this is what happens when world's collide to form one giant planet of harmony. Herren was given some improvisational and older sounds from The Books, listened carefully, and then created his own vision to co-exist with Zammuto and de Jong's concepts. What was birthed is one fast ride through fat beats, catchy acoustic meanderings and complicated melodies. Yet under all these layers, the album is still as down-to-earth and genuine as any collaborative effort can hope to be. "Pagina Tres" creates its own style of hip-hop, melding sounds and ideas together that would never click in the hands of other mortals. Part lazy beat, part cabana, and with a pinch of sketch, "Pagina Tres," is a clever take on themes most casual listeners have grown tired of hearing over and over. It's sleek, stylish, and fresh. The track only lasts two and a half minutes, but it could go on for an eternity and not sound stale. Slow, deliberate and easy, "Pagina Ocho" exemplifies each artist's strength. The beat doesn't overpower the casual melody, and the melody doesn't try to upstage the mellow tempo of the beat.

No matter the direction a song decides to take, the EP never waivers from a true blending of each person's ideas and experiments. This is a rare combination of talent, vision and sound. The album is nearly flawless in every way. There is no need to upstage each other, there is no use for over-the-top production, and there is no place for fractured or half-ideas. The sad reality is the EP only clocks in at 20 minutes, leaving you hanging on for more. Maybe that's the point -- leave the crowd wanting more. From pillar to post, the ride is swift, imaginative, and earth shattering. This is more than just a chance meeting of the minds; this is what creativity yields when mind conquers matter.

1. Pagina Uno Introduccion
2. Pagina Dos
3. Pagina Tres
4. Pagina Cuatro
5. Pagina Cinco
6. Pagina Seis
7. Pagina Siete
8. Pagina Ocho