Release Date: Apr 14, 2009
Record label: Warp
Whether it’s Afrika Bambaataa bringing Kraftwerk to the New York ghetto, or Kanye West sampling Daft Punk for the Chicago club scene, there’s a rich history of hip-hop artists mining the archives of electronic music. With Crookers, A-Trak and The Count And Sinden putting rap/electro hybrids right back into fashion, it is apt that this year marks the return of Prefuse 73, a fine example of an artist selflessly plugging away while trends catch up with him. Scott Herren has been loosely using this fusion throughout his prolific career – albeit reconstituting it in a completely different and inimitable way.
Spinning through 29 tracks in just under 50 minutes, Scott Herren's sixth proper LP as Prefuse 73 offers more of the same musical madness for fans of his no-attention-span cut-ups -- and that's a good thing. With remarkably few guests and remarkably few samples (at least recognizable ones), it's basic Prefuse material, but with dozens of ideas and delicious dead ends. Anyone looking for a differentiator between this and recent Prefuse material may look in vain, but there's slightly more electro than hip-hop going on here.
It is not easy staying on the cutting edge. When you are credited with popularizing a genre, audiences are bound to divide over every new release. Some expect the music to be as distinctly unique as the first time they heard it, and will complain if future works are not as equally groundbreaking. Others are quick to play the sell-out card and whinge whenever said artist makes an album that doesn’t sound exactly the same as the early stuff.
Guillermo Scott Herren has become a model of 21st-century post-techno productivity, if not necessarily consistency. Qualitatively, that is; there are certainly audible links between and within each of Herren's not-quite-disparate endeavors. Despite being most identified with genres known for their rhythmic punch (hip-hop) and textural layering (glitch electronica), the Prefuse 73 discography is united by Herren's skill with melody, the warm glue binding his often ultra-fractured rhythm and noise together.
Sometimes artists are so prolific it's frightening. Guillermo Scott Herren (a.k.a. Prefuse 73) will release three albums and an EP in a six-week span this spring. Each one is produced under a different moniker and exists in a universe of its own. One of the LPs, Everything She Touched Turned ….
Guillermo Scott Herren’s side projects each bare out his multifaceted approach to composition. Savath & Savalas studies in Catalan folk. Piano Overlord is a strict rendering of Rhodes piano and bookshelf breaks. Delarosa & Asora was an earthier take on the Warp label’s original agenda. Recent ….