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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