Prefuse 73 - Preparations
Hip-hop beats, samples. You already know what Preparations is going to sound like; although some of those samples are of Prefuse 73 (a.k.a. Guillermo Scott Herren) playing a multitude of instruments himself. Like many of his peers, Prefuse 73 makes layered soundscapes which draw on various influences, but falls short of delivering an involving record. Preparations reminds me, in parts, of (at least) two other albums I've reviewed this year: Amon Tobin's Foley Room and Samon Kawamura's Translations.
A couple of collaborative tracks are inspired. The Class of 73 Bells, featuring the vocals of twin sisters Claudia & Alejandra Deheza from School of Seven Bells, has a mystical, druidic air, while Smoking Red, featuring the drumming of Battles' John Stanier and an unrelated female voice confessing "getting out of bed in the morning is like slow suicide", could be DJ Shadow (whose Endtroducing is still the benchmark for this sort of thing). However, Preparations is mainly rather sketchy.
Class of 73 Bells - video