Prismic Tops is a work that is befuddling. It's so left-field, although not quite to the point of being avant-garde, that it's hard to make of it what exactly it is. It's part instrumental hip-hop while also containing elements of broken beat. That doesn't stop it from being a mostly enjoyable listening experience with the caveat that you have an open mind. Backward loops abound on the opener "Kalimba Deathswamp/Kurt Feelings," a slinky work of beatsmith wizardry. Chants are present on the second half but seem to be included more as a rhythmic add-on than as truly meaningful content. The vocals are even more processed in "Sun-Sized Twinkies" and are completely indiscernible. What is being sung may hold the key to world peace... or could just be complete gibberish, depending on your state of mind while listening. "Can't Get Used to Those" is the most "normal" sounding song. Perhaps it's the melody that has you whistling along or the jaunty quasi-samba rhythm, but it's catchy. It's a continuation of more psychedelic-centered content from Now Again, a label which was nearly a soul-only sister label for its first five years of existence. Whether it's due to a saturation of the soul reissue market or the powers that be at Stones Throw/Now Again just looking to switch it up in a challenging industry, it's refreshing to see a label take chances and fight stagnation even if the results on this project are a mixed bag.
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AllMusic Review by Eric Luecking