Guillermo Scott Herren has recorded under numerous aliases, but none more recognizable than Prefuse 73. His hazy shade of hip-hop has spawned a legion of imitators and Preparations ups the ante once again. Some have speculated that elements of Herren’s Savath & Savalas project began to creep into the Prefuse formula on his last full-length, Surrounded By Silence. Such suspicions are validated on Preparations, as vocal harmonies dominate the album (even while chopped and scattered) and add a blissful layer to insistent rhythmic patterns. “Class of 73 Bells” is the standout single, featuring the psychedelic vocals of School of Seven Bells over an orchestral arrangement and anchored by solid drum programming. Battles drummer John Stanier accompanies Prefuse on “Smoking Red,” propelling and steamrolling while Herren follows his lead, resulting in one of his most energetic and dissonant compositions yet. Love and relationships continue to be a reoccurring theme as “Girlfriend Boyfriend” sonically replicates the nervous energy of falling in love. Herren’s own voice is used to great effect on “Noreaster Cheer,” where a wall of harmony teeters over the song’s fadeout. Preparations solidifies Prefuse 73’s poisition as a visionary producer who’s taking hip-hop to higher ground.