By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Is Scott Herren gunning to become the Ryan Adams of slice-and-dice electronica? Like Adams, who released three alt-country albums last year, the Barcelona-based musician behind Prefuse 73 has been making records lately like the Keebler elves make cookies; since 2003, he's issued four LPs and a joint EP with the Books. But though he's done his part to have each release feature a different facet of his beatmaking--last year's Surrounded by Silence, for example, concentrated on collaborations with vocalists like Ghostface and Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead--Herren's prolificacy has also diluted his brand. Where once a Prefuse platter carried the promise of hip-hop's future, now it carries the whiff of Herren's leftovers.
The producer kicks off the new Security Screenings with a word to haters, "Illiterate Interlude," in which a would-be interviewer badgers Herren with inane comments about Silence's expansive guest list. The message is clear: True heads don't question Herren's method, they just drink in his magic. Parts of Screening, such as the perfectly titled "Creating Cyclical Headaches," a fuzzy, throbbing "duet" with Kieran Hebden of Four Tet, live up to that logic. The other parts make you wonder how much more room Herren's got on his hard drive.
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