Sunday, April 03, 2005

Prefuse 73 / Surrounded by Silence / 6.8

That’s funny. When pitchfork reviewed an older Prefuse cd ( it scored a 8.7!!!) they said this:

“Forget subculture, hip-hop is its own nation now. And to those who say it's the new rock and roll-- at least compared to the spineless alternadultery on the radio these days-- I concur. The hip-hop artist is best posed for stardom right now, free to be the mouthpiece of a community or the avatar of a corporate brand.”

And :

“Repeat: the hip-hop nation is not under attack. Prefuse 73 reimagines the genre in a collage of half-remembered rhymes and hazy static, letting us in on a dialogue with his soul. Through his fusion of hip-hop and soul music with electronica's current passion for the blip, he's also painted a portrait of the peculiar state of our urbanity. The bomb he's dropped will resonate outwards, hopefully even shaking up P. Diddy a little as he chills in the suburbs, per his recent video, trying like hell to keep it real.”

Please note the bounty of associations to hip hop in reference to Prefuse.

Now onto quotes from the new Prefuse review

“Scott Herren's best-known pseudonym, as the Prefuse 73 catalog has been distinct among its IDM environs for being emotional, intimate, and focused affairs.”

And :

“Much of the blame for this unevenness lies with Herren's attempts at hip-hop production, a role with tantalizing potential that so far had only been teased at with isolated, underwhelming efforts for Diverse, MF Doom, and others.”

So how about that, Prefuse is now a failed hip hop producer better suited for electronic stylings. I understand Scott is a difficult artist to pin down because he records under so many different aliases but this new review practically discredits his deep connection to and with hip hop.

To add insult to injury there are also two different interviews with Prefuse on Pitchfork ( from 03 and 05 ) that contain introductions where his name is first and for most linked to hip hop.

“On record, Prefuse 73 sounds like a cyborg creation caught in a time trap somewhere between the hot buttered soul of the 70s and the Mantronix-era vintage hip-hop of the mid-1980s.”


Pitchfork: How did you start out with rap? (which goes on to talk about his motion towards making glitch hop but Scott actually even says that came afterwards AKA after hip hop. )

Surrounded by Silence may be a failure because it offers surprisingly weak tracks from such star studded collaborations but to refer to his past with such ignorance and indifference is a crime. Rob Mitchum’s review hardly reflects any of Pitchfork’s previous insight about the artist at all and it is these kinds of inconsistencies which lead me to question nearly everything they write these days. A failed combination of talents appears to be catching.

I give this review a 6 out of 10 possible backpacks.