Prefuse 73 Surrounded By Silence

Prefuse 73 Surrounded By Silence
For his third full-length creation, Surrounded By Silence, Atlanta native and beat chemist Prefuse 73 has chosen a vocal route. Enlisting a cabal of artists as varied and as left field as his own productions, he’s matched each one against a musical backdrop uncharacteristic of their own individual styles with surprising success. Prefuse chops, dices and sautés each track like a world-renowned chef, tossing in stuttered beat breaks, fractured melodies and a slew of unconventional sound elements that, despite their eccentricities, never lose sight of their hip-hop roots. It’s a framework over which each vocalist and emcee reaches for the outer limits of their unique ability. Aesop Rock exercises his vocal dexterity on "Sabbatical with Options,” switching it up mid-stream to match Prefuse’s 3/4 rhythm, while Ghostface and El-P trade lyrical stabs over one of the record’s more tradition rhythms. Some of the bigger surprises, though, come by way of the many lesser-known voices on the disc, from the distorted chanting of Tyondai Braxton, to the ethereal harmonies of Claudia and Alejandra Deheza. Even Masta Killa and Genius turn up to speak their piece on the mellowed and melodious "Just the Thought.” It’s a beautifully constructed genre-smasher that’s as impressive as it is challenging. (Warp)