Prefuse 73 - Rivington Não Rio - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Prefuse 73 - Rivington Não Rio

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:7.5 Release Date:2015-05-13

Rivington Não Rio is the second release of the year for Scott Herren, operating under his primary name of Prefuse 73. As centerpiece of the planned trio, it needs to achieve much, and in this it succeeds, showing more depth than last month's EP, Forsyth Gardens. Herren is willing to experiment more over the course of this LP than he did there, with good results.

The album starts with the gentle ambiance of 'Señora 95 (Intro)', a moody one-minute track that sadly is over just as it begins to get interesting. It's followed up by one of the album's best songs, 'Applauded Assumptions'. Here, melancholy keyboards take turns with jumbled bass and beats, and the song jounces its way through disturbing and soothing sequences.

Other tunes that push boundries include 'Mojav Mating Call', with it's creepy piano and weirdly reverberating backwards guitar, the rumbling, glitchy power of 'Jacinto Lyric Range', and the spacey trip-hop of 'Open Nerve Farewells'. 'Through a Lit and Darkened Path (Pts. 1 + 2)' is brightened up with a bunch of legato and pizzicato strings.

The vocals tracks, however, are a mixed bag. First, there's the gorgeous 'Quiet One', a song liberally sprinkled with blipping guitars and girded by deep bass, featuring math-rock journeyman Rob Crow, whose sweet voice contrasts markedly with his hulking physique.

Then there's the original, unremixed version of 'Infrared' with the R&B stylings of Sam Dew. This version is unadorned and much less intricate than the remix on Forsyth Gardens, which works fine, but would probably sound better if it didn't have to compete with that superior version. Having said that, there's a pleasant, back-and-forth rolling quality to the tune that's hard not to like.

'140 Jabs Interlude' has rapping by Busdriver, who has impressive vocal chops but lackluster lyrics, such as the amusingly ironic "Don't remember me for a motherfucking thing". 'See More Than Just Stars' is loaded with massive, vibrating bass-tones and Herren's favorite: clicking, clattering beats. Roberto Carlos Lange of Helado Negro provides the breathy singing, which feels almost like an afterthought compared to the intricacies of the song as it works through fields of keytones, guitar plucks, airy pads, and DSP hits.

Sections of the album find Herren slipping back into his comfort zone of clockwork percussion and drawn-out bass, but for the most part they're still worthwhile, despite being less compelling and adventurous. This set is only 13 minutes longer than the half-hour EP, but feels much grander, simply for the fact that it explores more terrain. This would definitely be the one to get out of the tryptich so far, though it leaves me wondering where Herren will go from here with the forthcoming final piece of the puzzle.

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