Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian may be a challenge, but it's one well worth...
Colin Buttimer 2009
Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian is album number five for Prefuse 73, aka Guillermo Scott Herren. With 28 tracks lasting a total of 48 minutes, it sounds like the future on fast forward. Picture a mixtape mash up of psychedelic hip hop with only the briefest of pauses for breath.
After three short switchback tracks, NoNo is a restful patch of crooned breathing. However, it's only 14 seconds long and over before you know it. Straight after Herren serves up an intense slice of stop start beats – appropriately titled Punish - that ends with violin wails and multi-tracked voices.
There's a scene in the 1976 film The Man Who Fell To Earth in which David Bowie's lost alien sits surrounded by a huge bank of televisions, all tuned to different channels. The cacophonous result isn't that dissimilar to first impressions of this album. It feels like it’s necessary to focus on individual moments to get a sense of what's happening, but those moments are succeeded by so many other shard-like sounds that it can feel like a challenge to keep up. Surrender is probably the best strategy. The only alternative otherwise is flight.
The other 70s reference is Dan McPharlin's cover - a Roger Dean homage mixed with just a dash of Studio Ghibli. The otherworldliness of the image further underlines the sense of a world gone mad from sensory overload.
It wouldn't be a Prefuse 73 album without some lovely beats under the ever-changing soundscapes: the fleeting Get Em High, the clockwork skronk of No Lights Still Rock and the stoned Regato are high points. Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian may be a challenge, but it's one well worth facing.