Daily Tune: Reto A Ichi – A Sword in the Rain

Genius hip-hop producer Prefuse 73 has restyled himself as Reto A Ichi. Judging from the new track, nothing has been lost in the translation.

There’s a holy pantheon in hip-hop production, a club with an extremely exclusive membership roster. Some, like J Dilla and Nujabes, are sadly no longer with us, but the rest are as elusive as they are prolific. That might sound paradoxical, but it fits because they’re often so busy working on the next thing that they become reclusive. I’m talking about people like Madlib, DJ Krush, Onra, Blockhead, Ammoncontact and, of course, Prefuse 73.

Real name Guillermo Scott Herren, he’s adopted a number of different personas over the years, and he’s developed an astoundingly broad range of music, working with everyone from Aesop Rock to Cibelle to Niki Randa. Now, he’s picked up a new persona to add to the list – Reto A Ichi. The name is borrowed from the Spanish translated title for the Japanese samurai classic Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman, and all the work being put into the new double album is insipred by the story of that character. The first part, The Laspe of Exchange, will be released on the 20th of October, followed by Along Moving Often on the 17th of November.

For the time being, we have only one track from the first half – A Sword in the Rain. It’s an interesting one, a slow, atmospheric burner with a steady trickle of chopped up vocals. It’s clearly a small part of a big, conceptually driven whole, the kind of thing you have to listen to a few times over to grasp, and then listen to a few more times after that because by that point, it’s got you. It’s always exciting when Herren brings out something new, but an entirely new guise? Throw a rope around the 20th of October and drag it over here NOW.

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