Review of Prefuse 73's album 'Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian' released through Warp Records.
Its nice watching relationships bloom between artist and label. Seeing the two grow and become wise together. That's exactly what we have here. "Everything She Touches Turned Ampexian" sees Scott Herren under his best known alias Prefuse 73 ease comfortably into the freedom of expression and playful experimentation that Warp Records allows it's artists. It's been a long time coming though. I mean sure, Herren has always had a great sound, pushing sampling, time signatures and uncompromised production techniques.but he's been flogging the same sound for years now. Don't get me wrong he tried to shake the glitch-hop stigma that has shrouded him for years. I mean we all really wanted to like 'Preparations' right?
For those of you wondering, 'Ampexian' refers to the recording method adopted for this effort. Recording to analogue Ampex Tapes Herren created this 29-track adventure a sound removed from the straight up digital approach he's become so fond of. Now recording this way is a much more labour intesive way to do things, but with that comes a depth.a warmth and almost a consistency missing from his previous releases. This collection of tracks sits more like an album. A mythical journey, being carried along on the wings of.blah, blah, blah. You get the idea. Dub Loops, 60's rock ditties, jarred harmonies and prog time changes make for the aural equivalent of a Dadaist collage by Max Richter or whoever.
'Digan Lo' reads like a bonus track from Air's 'Moon Safari', you know, if you were to write the elements and influences on a page and compare.Just me? Oh well. My issue with Prefuse has always been the fact that just as something catches your attention enough for you to stop whatever else you might be doing, its over. Some things just need longer to play out, but never get the chance. Well, that part of his approach hasn't gone anywhere, but its somewhat more agreeable somehow. Asif his switch to analogue has knitted everything together with such care, you don't begrudge it. It might be also that the part it switches to is just as rich and interesting as its predecessor. This album is eloquently executed, and rich in tapestry like a classic novel or timeless piece of cinema. This is Herren safely and most securely establishing the crown in his field, niche, groove or whichever synonym suits you best.
It would be safe to say Prefuse 73 had lost my attention for abit back there. Yet, 'Everything She Touches.' sees Herren taking things further, for his own sake. He's not out to fit into any kinda predetermined shapes set out by the preconceptions of his listeners. Its about him again. Like it was at the start with 'Vocal Studies + Uprock Narrative'. Its fresh, yet strikes you the same as listening to a relic lost in the archives. Far more than merely a pastiche of sounds, Herren has lovingly assembled his finest most coherent offering to date.So do yourselves a favour, and don't look this gift-horse in the mouth.
Lets hope this isn't his last as Prefuse 73. Things could be getting interesting. However, with his new project with Zach Hill (Hella, Marnie Stern, Etc.) Diamond Watch Wrists releasing an album, Herren could be on to newer things. Its been 12 years since his Dirty South Rap days as Delarosa and Asora. He's been tinkering away as Piano Overlord. He's showing no signs of slowing. Saying he's caught his second wind would be something of an understatement. Enjoy.