Prefuse73, unlike Brazil 66, is the work of a lone gun, a super-sharpshooter with an army of aliases who mostly answers to the name Scott Herren. Ensconced in the Atlanta, GA with backyard pit bull breeders for neighbours, outland anonymity is the perfect cover for this Clerk Kent of the mixing desk. But he doesn’t need a telephone kiosk to transform into a Cubase cubist, a carbon-based biped skewering humans with block rockin’ beats or serial seducer wowing one and all with supple instrumental flow. A sonic empath with the ability to sync with any scene, Scott’s nice networking reveals the extent of his dexterity, equally at home ‘neath the balmy palms of tourist trapping Miami with native labels Schematic and Chocolate Industries as working in Chicago, Illanoize with Tortoise sticksman Johnny Herndon and The Sea And Cake’s Sam Prekop, budding and blossoming talents in a fecund field of hothouse flowers.
If the affirmative ambience of Savath & Savalas’ pastoral post-rock and liquid vignettes acts as therapy without the analyst’s kick backs for its creator and Schematic alter image Delarosa & Asora scratches an irresistible electronica (gl)itch then Prefuse 73 is Herren’s hip hop. “Everything about Prefuse is magnified and amplified,” he states. “It’s way more kick-you-in-the-head than my other material.” And it meets you head-on. Synapses snap when they sense Scott’s shattering wax, bone domes prone to damage crack under Prefuse’s cranium-crushing pressure. 73 times dope, the Prefuse project reflects Scott’s desire to rebuild rap from the roots. Technological imperative springs from natural impulse – Scott’s watched his hometown turn into a haven for hip hop hustlers who’d play’d themselves out in NY, magpie-eyed B-Boys with bling bling fixations whose heavyweight status is demarcated by the hi-score carats and mineral weights of their chunky chains and chubby rings. Put the hot rocks back in the jewellery box kids, Scott’s mining a richer seam.
Though trace elements of Scott’s southern heritage remain in the honeyed taste of R’n’B divas (reduced to staccato sequences of appetising gulps and gasps), Herren’s hip hop policy is pretty scorched earth. MC’s egos are the first thing to be steamrollered by the Prefuse machine. Subjected to Herren’s vocal science, they lose vowel control and syllabic support, syntax shredded like incriminating letters in a Capital Hill office. Misanthropic messages of diss-lexic MCs mutate into meaningless mutters and bugged-out stutters.
“I like to use MCs as another layer of music. You don’t have to get the heavy load of what an MC’s saying that might piss you off, some sort of bullshit you don’t wanna hear about.” Don’t get the wrong end of the schtick, this isn’t about kicking MCs to the kerb, it’s about birthing newspeak. “I’m into creating a whole new mangled language,” Scott asserts. “It’s a form of communication without communicating, a new flow when you feel like you’re listening to a standard hip hop track but there’s something in it that’s not right.” Despite his tongue-twisting and tonsillar tweaking, Scott’s still keen to mix it with the masters of lyrical torque. Remote collaborations with MF Doom (aka KMD’s Zev Love X), Beans of out-hip hop high priests Anti-Pop Consortium and Feestyle Fellowship’s Mikah 9 are in the frame and we’ll all go postal if Fed Ex come good. “I check the mail box everyday to see if their rhymes have arrived,” confesses Scott like a kid caught scouring the house for Christmas presents.
Scott’s viral enthusiasm infects every aspect of his work. Like each of his identities, Prefuse 73 is a subliminal shout out, a titular tribute giving props to seminal inspirations. Delarosa stems from the name engraved on a life-changing job lot of junked vinyl Scott scored for small change, the self same plastic that set Herren on the path to Prefunk. “The name Prefuse 73 comes from my devotion to pre-fusion jazz circa 1973. A lot of records that I cherish and get the most inspiration from were recorded between ‘68 and ’73. During that time there seemed to be an extreme amount of exploration and integration of new sounds drawn from electric and foreign instruments into an otherwise traditional format, “ eulogises Scott. “This new approach went hand in hand with these musicians’ emerging spiritual awakenings,” he continues. “In my opinion, there isn't another area of time within any genre that holds such a prolific outpouring of beautiful, mind expanding music.” Meanwhile Prefuse’s hair-trigger musical intelligence knows the only thing left to do with modern minds is blow them.
I've decided to drop some of my favorite hip hop artists' bios here to begin with, so here comes Scott Herren aka Prefuse 73. His style is unique, his songs sound like nobody else's. Actually i'm in beatmaking myself, so when i hear a rap song, i'm usually checking beats first of all. And Prefuse 73 makes my head go booom!