Release Date: Mar 22, 2005
Record label: Warp
Genre(s): Indie, Electronic, Rap
Scott Herren's first two full-lengths as Prefuse 73 were masterly collisions of wave-your-hand party breaks and stop-time glitch techno. Everything held sacred in the hip-hop playbook -- including the rapper -- was merely fodder for Herren's processor, and given enough time, he could rearrange an earthy old-school track into a computer-bred monster that would make a master of the jutting sample like Marley Marl sound close to a syrupy G-funk producer in comparison. While Herren's third album down the line could never be the same revolution in sound as his first two, it's a surprise nevertheless to find it downright desultory.
“If I just said fuck the biters does that sound like I want to talk about it …” Fuck the biters? A curious vocal snip to start the new Prefuse 73 album Surrounded By Silence, no? The most striking thing about Scott Herren’s development as an artist is his lack of biters. His landmark introduction, Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives, dismantled hip hop’s obsession with repetition – no small deed – and let heads know there was more to life than nodding. In 2001 most producers weren’t exactly getting down to Oval’s 94 Diskont, but Herren learned the same thing from erudite electronica that Bambattaa took from Kraftwerk: the beguiling advancements in European minimalism could make great hip hop when injected with a little warmth.