By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
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 & 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 & 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. Midperiod 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 via 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 hookup. 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.