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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

CD Review: Prefuse 73 -- Preparations/Interregnums

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 1:15 PM

pref73_thumb.jpg

Prefuse 73

Preparations/Interregnums

(Warp)

The production work of Scott Herren began as a study in diametric personalities. The Brooklyn- and Atlanta-based producer emerged full-force in 2000 under the aliases Delarosa & Asora, Savath and Savalas, and Prefuse 73. With each compounding persona he further established the contrast between crate-digging and digital signal processing, between pastoral melodies and boom-bap hip-hop.

Following the first two acclaimed Prefuse 73 albums, Herren relocated to Barcelona, delved deeper into his Catalan heritage, and began crediting Savath and Savalas compositions to his full name, Guillermo Scott Herren. He dropped Delarosa & Asora, concentrating his efforts separately on Savath's folk flecks and Prefuse's cross-stitched glitch. Issues of pixilated identity were still prevalent, however. Mid-period Prefuse 73 dealt with the weight of others' voices, evidenced by many guest MCs crowding 2005's Surrounded by Silence.

Herren had much to reconcile, but he currently sounds up to the task. Preparations and its limited-edition companion, Interregnums, a collection of orchestral swatches, bridges the schism between his organic pigments and jittering assemblages with chromatic motifs beneath dimpled breakbeats. It's the South Bronx gone Lincoln Center, with John Cage and any number of ECM artists spiritually guesting. Preparations' 14 tracks coalesce effortlessly, rife with mirrored reflections of Herren's finer hours (circa 2003's One Word Extinguisher) and flickers of melodic filaments nourished in classical minimalism. "Smoking Red," "Prog Version Slowly Crushed," and "Pomade Suite Version One" are fierce, offering rhythms that get ridden like a drunken hook-up. Alternately, "The Class of 73 Bells," "Girlfriend Boyfriend," and "Spaced & Dissonant" marry heartstrings to actual strings. With this latest Prefuse disc, Herren comes closest to fusing his myriad projects. -- Tony Ware

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