Prefuse 73, Beans and A Grape Dope perform May 11 at Gypsy Tea Room, with Hydroponic Sound System.
Sly hip-hop futurism touches down at Gypsy Tea Room on Sunday night with a triple bill featuring Barcelona-based beatmaster Prefuse 73, ex-Antipop Consortium oddball Beans and Tortoise offshoot A Grape Dope. One Word Extinguisher, Prefuse dude Scott Herren's new Warp disc, is more of the meticulously microprocessed soundscaping he introduced on 2001's Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives. Like his sleeker, slicker German peers in Jazzanova, Herren manipulates tiny shards of sampled sound--a snare hit, a vocalist's breath, a keyboard blip--into new compositions that throb with the disparate histories of their constituent parts. "If I'm buying a record," Herren told me when we met up in New York a few months ago, "I'm more into buying the music on the record and listening to it, rather than looking for sounds on it. I'd rather learn something from listening to the record." Listen to Beans' Tomorrow Right Now and you'll learn how to sound like an indie-rap Neptunes: "Phreek the Beet," the lead single from the New Yorker's first solo album, floats a playground jingle bell over a spare kickdrum-and-cymbal beat in a brutal inversion of Top 40 sonic bling. No bling on Missing Dragons, Tortoise drummer John Herndon's new EP as A Grape Dope, either, but plenty of hazy percussive noodling and juicy keyboard hum. See how far these guys can take you before bringing you back home.