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3.0 out of 5 stars Well read?, 3 Aug. 2005
This review is from: Prefuse 73 Reads The Books E.P. (Audio CD)
On paper this seemed a match made in heaven. Scott Herren's masterful rythmic programming pared up with The Books' airy collage folk seeming destined to bring out the best in both: giving the former added space and organic texture and the latter much-need structure and a bit of funk. To begin with, this is what it does, Pagina Dos (also featured on recent Prefuse 73 LP Surrounded by Silence) and Pagina Tres are instantly recognisable as belonging to both artists, and in a sense a perfect meeting of the two. As enjoyable as these brief tracks are, they do not venture into territory virgin to either artist, and I think this is also where the project fails: enjoyable as viewed as a simple remix project but not as a collaboration. The rest of the EP is fairly pedestrian, with nice beats and fragments of plucked guitar (and banjo) but essentially average stuff when compared with the artists' 'solo' material. 'Pagina Ocho', featuring long-time Herren collaborator Claudia Maria Deheza, spends about a minute being absolutely amazing but is let down by some rather dreary vocals harmonies. Nevertheless, worth picking up as a titbit if you are a fan of either.
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3.0 out of 5 stars hhhuuu, 15 Oct. 2007
This review is from: Prefuse 73 Reads The Books E.P. (Audio CD)
It was inevitable that these two would eventually meet up; they're essentially doing the same thing, albeit in different fields. While Prefuse 73 gave hip hop the typical Warp Records treatment, cutting and shredding samples to glitchy, demented beats, The Books created almost Dadaist indie rock, adding - yep, you guessed it - cut-up and shredded samples on top of the simplest of folk accompaniment. Both pretty much perfected their style along the way, creating music that no-one else was doing. Well, aside from each other that is.

Considering that this album barely last 22 minutes and isn't even a proper collaboration in the first place (it's simply a Prefuse 73 remix album), I can kinda understand the muted reception this EP got upon its release. Nonetheless, listening to it two years after its release shows it to be a much more capable record than some gave it credit for. Each track (entitled Pagina Uno-Ocho) isn't intended to stand alone, merely to offer a rough, stream-of consciousness tour through the unique qualities that unites the two artists. It's a great example of the sum being greater than its individual parts, perfect for flicking through while lazily sipping coffee, just as Scott Herren is pictured doing on the cover. However, the brief length doesn't just leave the listener wanting more from this album; it leaves them wanting a proper collaboration, seeing what two of the most creative artists in music right now could achieve if they set their mind to it. Nonetheless, this release in wholly enjoyable, and should tide you over until that project comes about.
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Prefuse 73 Reads The Books E.P.
Prefuse 73 Reads The Books E.P. by Prefuse 73 (Audio CD - 2005)
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