Maximillian Allaistair Pobblesworth III (das_ubermensch) wrote,
Maximillian Allaistair Pobblesworth III
das_ubermensch

Prefuse 73- One Word Extinguisher (2003)

Scott Herren's first album under the Prefuse 73 moniker sent many head spinning with its fresh take on instrumental hip hop, employing vocal snippets as rhythm, and glitched beats anchoring some very pleasing melodies. The album was a definitive success and has assured Herren a spot in the upper echelon of independent music makers, with immense, cross-genre appeal. One would think that following up such an album would be more than a slightly daunting task; but Herren easily delivers his finest work to date. Much of the vocal cutting has dropped out of the mix, only to be replaced by more chopped up instruments, and sound snippets; overall, the album probably has equivalent glitch-intricacy, but this album is an infinitely more funky affair than its predecessor. In fact, it is an infinitely more funky affair than most any other album i've ever heard in my life. Tracks like "Detchibe", the title track, and the Daedelus collaboration "Busy Signal" are fully capable of kicking the living shit out of anything the Neptunes, Timbaland, or those shady fellows at Shady records, could ever drop on a dance floor. The Dabrye collaboration "Uprock and Invigorate" boasts interesting, irresistible, and innovative beats, while still capturing an old school, native toungues-styled vibe, with the keyboard and bass samples. Herren picks choice MCs for his collaborations, with Mr. Lif dropping a thoughtful interlude ("you live ignorant/ but expect to die wise"), and Diverse delivering the fully-blown rap track; his only flaw being that it isn't humanly possible to vary the human voice enough to compete with Herren's backing production. Tracks like the epic Tommy Guerrero collaboration "Storm Returns", and the superb "Perverted Undertone" show Herren perfecting his slow-burning groove, although it seems he can't help but infuse such tracks (particularly "Perverted Undertone") with occasional upbeat energy. The vocal manipulation has certainly not disappeared altogether, either, with a very soulful collaboration with Jenny Vasquez "Why I Love You" (see "Afternoon Love-in", from the first album) , residing on the back end of the album, with Vasquez's vocals sounding like Destiny's Child run through a spin cycle. The interludes are leaden with carefully picked samples, and render the album cinematic in nature. This album is solid through and through, with not a single dud track amongst the 21 it offers; a great deal of the tracks, are epic bangers with tireless vitality. The composition is just as challenging as the usual warp records fare, but while other artists on the label remain more than an arm's length away from accessibility, this album is very easy to listen to, and i can see no reason why pasty laptop kids, hiphop headz, and teeny boppers wouldn't share the dance floor for this one. With a consistent flow of excellent releases from Herren's new label Eastern Developments (check out the solo work from Dabrye, Daedelus...etc.), Herren's crew is quickly establishing itself as one of the most reliable sources of new and exciting hip hop, where old guards such as Ninja Tunes, are faltering. Herren's achievements here are no short of monumental, as he reconciles old and new, simple and difficult; this album is my summer album of '03, my current pick for album of the year, and although the year is still young, i have a feeling it will still be up there, when the dust has cleared. DJ Shadow, may have given us the album he needed to give, RJD2 gave us what we wanted, but Prefuse brings us what we need, with a legitimate (and original) successor to DJ Shadow's '96 offering, "Endtroducing". While it may have taken 7 years, the wait was well worth it.
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