Prefuse 73, aka Scott Herren, is a man on a mission. With his debut album Vocal Studies and Uprock Narratives he single-handedly created a new subgenre within the Hip-Hop landscape, often referred to as â€šÃ„ÃºGlitch-Hop.â€šÃ„Ã¹ The album was an instrumental affair that stitched together Hip-Hop aesthetics, 70â€šÃ„Ã´s Jazz tendencies, and exhilarating vocal cut-ups. Some artists would have been happy repeating the formula for subsequent albums, but not Prefuse 73. Building upon the concepts of his debut, his second album, One Word Extinguisher, incorporated a fuller sound and included gooey electro beats, stronger melodies, and more colorful arrangements. The newest chapter in the Prefuse 73 saga, Surrounded By Silence, picks up precisely where Extinguisher left off. The difference this time is that he offers an even more fleshed out musical vision with a little help from his friends. The banjo-happy â€šÃ„ÃºPagino Dosâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is a wonderfully warm track featuring experimental band The Books. On â€šÃ„ÃºHideyface,â€šÃ„Ã¹ Prefuseâ€šÃ„Ã´s minimalist beats play the supporting role to the lyrical spit-fire of Ghostface and El-P. The dizzying Far-East sounds of â€šÃ„ÃºWe Go Our Own Wayâ€šÃ„Ã¹ play beautifully against the soothing voice of Blonde Redhead singer Kazu. Highly progressive and textured instrumental tracks â€šÃ„ÃºLa Correccion Exchangeâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºMinutes Away Without Youâ€šÃ„Ã¹ maybe some of the most focused and thoughtful on the album.
Some hardcore fans might say that this is Prefuse 73 attempting to go mainstream or that this is a rehashing of the previous album. To the few fans who may be unimpressed, I offer up this view: Perhaps we are listening to an artist perfecting his sound while building a bridge toward his next musical innovation.