Artist: Prefuse 73Title: Security ScreeningsRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Dustin Glick
Prefuse 73 (Scott Herren) has made a name for himself as a producer of challenging experimental beats. His versatile style lends itself to everything from straight up hip-hop to abstract broken beat. On his latest album, Security Screenings (Warp Records), Prefuse returns with some more of the latter.
While his last release, Surrounded by Silence, featured rappers like Aesop Rock and Ghostface, Prefuse's new project doesn't have quite as much to offer on the hip-hop side. While it may be appreciated by fans of avant-garde beats, average hip-hop heads beware - Security Screenings is chock-full of beeps and clicks. That said, the album is a short and sweet 40 minutes of the exact kind of experimental electronic noodling Warp Records is known for.
Prefuse showcases his studio prowess throughout the album, creating virtual symphonies of synthetic sounds. On "No Origin" he mixes and mutilates jazzy horn samples. On "One Stars And Three Stripes" he creates a beat factory, with thundering drums and mechanical whirs standing in for pounding pistons and conveyor belts.
Security Screenings does feature two guest appearances, with Four Tet appearing on "Creating Cyclical Headaches," and T.V. on the Radio's Babatunda Adebimpe providing vocals for "We Leave You In A Cloud Of Thick Smoke And Sleep." Unfortunately, considering the talent involved, both tracks are a bit disappointing.
Overall, Security Screenings is a solid effort, although nothing spectacular. Prefuse contends that the album "is not a follow up to Surrounded by Silence, but merely a transition between the last album and what's to come," adding that his next album will be something completely different. If that's the case, Security Screenings</i? provides a tasty snack for Prefuse fans to chew on until his next offering.