January 27, 2004

Prefuse 72 "Extinguished"

2003 was a great year for Scott Herren, the mastermind behind Prefuse 73. His second album, the glitch-hop electronica masterpiece One World Extinguisher, established him as a man to watch, as well as one of the true innovators of the genre. Coming out of leftfield and catching everyone by surprise, Prefuse 73 became one of the year's most talked about groups. In order to fully sieze the moment, Herren compiled Extinguished, what on the surface appears to be a filled-to-the-brim collection of songs, giving you more bang for your buck.

Looks can be deceiving, though.

You shouldn't pay attention to the track listing, because it's a really moot point. Twenty-three tracks in thirty-seven minutes, you do the math about what the album is. Indeed, Extinguished's subtitle, "Outtakes, Alternate Takes and Beats" pretty much sums up what this record is about. In fact, I'm willing to say that it's erroniously titled, as it should be called "Beats, Some Outtakes and Nothing More, All Blended Together In One Big-Ass Mix." The album is sequenced so well In actuality, I'd be more than willing to call Extinguished a Modern Electronica Classical symphonic movement. You could take away all of the cutesy little song titles and simply listen to this from beginning to end and you wouldn't feel any lack of continuality.

While some moments, such as the rap on "Pase Rock's Freestyle" or the opening "Suite For The Ways Things Change" do stand out as really excellent songs, the smaller snatches of sound, such as 'Whisper In My Ear And Tell Me You Hate Me," "Robot Snares Got No Cadence or Balance" really hint at any number of different directions that Herren could take with his follow-up records. No matter which one of the 787890724346 directions that are offered on Extinguished Herren chooses to take, you can rest assured of one thing: that direction will be interesting. There's no way you could listen to Extinguished and think of it as an album, and perhaps that's the point. Consider Extinguisher a promisary note on what will hopefully be a long and rewarding career.

--Joseph Kyle

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