Pitchfork (Website) - "[I]t is rewarding to have Herren's voice at the table again, to remind the world where a sizeable chunk of this sound derived."
Audio Mixer: Heba Kadry.
Photographer: Gracia Villamil.
The third of four like-packaged Prefuse 73 releases issued within a five-month span in 2015, Rivington Nao Rio -- flanked by the shorter Forsyth Gardens and Every Color of Darkness -- is the only one considered an album. Though the four releases range only from eight to 11 tracks, this surely is the most substantial one of the crop, both in terms of length and quantity of fully developed songs with vocalists. The only feature across the other three releases is Sam Dew on "Infrared," and it's repeated here as a central track, a glinting shuffle that, like most of the other cuts, has a warm glow and a flickering, slightly psychedelic effect. For someone who has frequently sought women for vocal contributions, it's surprising that Guillermo Herren opted to work here with an all-male crew, though the singers -- Dew, Rob Crow, and Helado Negro -- yield delicate, nuanced turns that enhance the producer's intricately incised tracks. Rappers Milo and Busdriver add forceful contrast on "140 Jabs Interlude," an aggressive outlier that disrupts the idyllic, gently smeared settings of what surrounds it. Despite the passing of four years since the predominantly beat-less The Only She Chapters, Herren has not lost his touch with percussion. He reaffirms his connection to hip-hop and remains distinctive from the scores of beatmakers who have followed him. ~ Andy Kellman