This is one of the harder albums for me to review, only in my unfamiliarity with two of the three artists in question. I have been following Prefuse for years, but haven’t spent any time with Jaytram or Epstein. Jaytram is the drummer for Yeasayer, who I haven’t cared for since I saw them at Fun Fun Fun Fest a couple of years ago, but maybe I’ll enjoy his solo material, if this is any indication. My only familiarity with Epstein comes with his work with Savath & Savalas, which is a Prefuse 73 project. I haven’t spent any time with his solo material or any other projects he’s worked on, such as Helado Negro. So I’m working with a mostly blank slate going into this one.
For this album, Jaytram and Prefuse 73 were given the entire catalogue of Epstein’s work and told to do what they will with it. A project of this sort is usually at its most interesting when you have artists coming from different backgrounds. Opening up the vaults of old soul, jazz, or reggae records to hip hop producers has turned out some great results in the past, for example. With the artists on this project, though, they are all working with a similar palette of pleasant instrumental electronic/hip hop music. The result here is that we have a nice collection of instrumental hip hop, but nothing really stands out. I’ve listened to this album numerous times, hoping that it would eventually click with me, but it never happened. The artists respect each other, for sure, but nobody offers up some new possibilities that demand your attention. As a result, the album is enjoyable, but ultimately forgettable.
|Title:||Prefuse 73/Jaytram - Epstein|