Review Summary: Scott Herren features manipulated beats with rhythmic synthesizer and mixes it all with amazing rapping.
Out of all of the different types of entertainment, movies, fashion, literature, I’d have to say that music has evolved like no other. It can create an entire different genre while still keeping older influences. Take Electronica and Hip-Hop, two very different genres but put together and they create Trip-Hop. Prefuse 73’s mastermind Scott Herren doesn’t stop there as he indulges us with a beautiful blend of Hip-Hop, Electronica, Ambient, Jazz, Lounge and Soul all in one package.
And with such a growth in musical hybrids comes a power. The power to actually temporarily alter your mood and frame of mind from stressed to chilled with heavily manipulated beats, synthesizer lines that go from towering to laid back in an instant and fast punchy rhymes. This album shows the very spacey “Uprock and Invigorate” which features a relaxing, layered soundscape of synthesizer, a smooth lazy bassline and a rhythmic beat. You feel a more jazzy side with “Color of Tempo” and “Dave’s Bonus Beats” with both songs featuring artificial horns over, jazz drums and short samples of female voices. With “Plastic” he milks in the Hip-Hop with rapid-fire rhymes, eerie synthesizer line and a simple yet thumping beat. He ends the album on a relaxing note with calm sounds and soaring synthesizer lines with “Storm Returns and “Trains on Top of Their Game”. After one listen, I assure you will be relaxed.
Rapping wise, he is pristine. He uses catchy rhymes with rapid, quick delivery. For example “Huevos With Jeff and Roni” features a quiet synthesizer and swift rhymes with a short minute and a half of meaningful lyrics with the help of Mr. Lif:
When you tamper with the inner fabric of people’s lives
Expect there to be unsettles scores to equalize
You build a city on feeble lies
Then cry when the ground opens up wide
And swallows your high rise
You live ignorant but expect to die wise
Become insincere with your last breath of air
And nobody knows where you’re going from here
But you can handle change cause it’s something you fear
Release everything that you held dear
Like your car, jewelry, your cash and your career
Don’t forget all of the time you couldn’t spare
To sit down and lend you three children in there
But with his skill comes a flaw. These amazing lyrics are only in a small minority of the songs. You’ll hear a song and love it and then have a 7 or 8 song dry spell of a lack of him rapping. So when you have a large amount of just Techno songs, you start to run out of ideas and consequently, there are many songs here with the same type of structure and rhythm. “Perverted Undertone” is basically the same beat of crescendo synthesizer over and over again for 3 minutes and 15 seconds. However good that one beat can be, it does get extremely repetitive.
The way he gets by with a lot of the Electronica songs is his ability to manipulate a beat so very well. You give Scott an inch he’ll go a mile. Give him the blandest of beats and he will transform it into an interesting cacophony of sudden double basses and an off beat yet well fitting snare to keep you listening throughout the album. What makes it so great is that he’ll take that fascinating beat and blend so perfect with a simple synthesizer melody.
Overall this is a great album to chill to while listening to he broken and fooled-around-with beats and spontaneous synthesizer lines with seldom rapping involved. This is the equivalent to giving your eardrums a massage so you can relax and be stress free for about an hour with one listen to this.
Great chill album
Simple rhythmic synthesizer
Too little rapping
The many Techno songs get very repetitive
Uprock and Invigorate
Color of Temp
Huevos with Jeff and Roni