Prefuse 73 - Surrounded By Silence - Album Review

Prefuse 73

Prefuse 73 - Surrounded By Silence - Album Review

Prefuse 73
Surrounded By Silence

Scott Herren knows that he is no island. He digs his collaborations and as an expert in instrumental, glitch-hop he has wisely chosen to cast his jam net as widely as his arms will allow.

It is certainly nice to hear a variety of voices grace this, his fourth album as Prefuse 73. However, due to Herren’s pathological desire to reduce most of his voices to a prolonged ooh or a mangled half-sentence, it is hard to say how the various contributors fare. They are

Prefuse 73 - Surrounded By Silence - Album Review

all totally at the mercy of his restless editing. I particularly enjoy Trish Keenan’s (of Broadcast) vocals from the final track but it is a desperately short-lived sample and the song is over before you’ve noticed she is there.

This is perhaps his strength: a tasteful sense of when to break things up to avoid repetition or boredom. Few of the tracks stray over four minutes and many are short interludes and sketchbook ideas.

Transience and musical cross-fertilization are recurrent themes for Prefuse 73. The aesthetic is of a transistor radio being twisted from one idea to the next. This mixtape ideology is effective at staving off boredom, but once the formula is established (see his entire back catalogue) it becomes difficult to be excited when the radio hiss subsides and you hear – yet again - a snapshot of a film quote, a cluttered sound-clash of vibraphones, horns and electronic pulses before a funky squelch line and a mid-tempo deep drum pattern kicks in - possibly with added vocal ooh-aahs.

This album is utterly listenable, occasionally brilliant but perhaps a little too predictable for old time fans.

Rangy Manatee

BBC Colective Review


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