Agony, Pt. 1

Delarosa & Asora

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Agony, Pt. 1 Review

by John Bush

Scott Herren, one of the best, most hard-working producers in experimental techno, hits another high point with his Agony, Pt. 1 full-length, recorded as Delarosa & Asora for Schematic. Beyond the glitches and stop-time percussion programming Herren does better than any other lies haunting, time-stretched melodies and a sense for track framework that most experimental producers don't seem to have caught on to yet. He occasionally dips into the hip-hop groove he's explored with his Prefuse 73 alias, but on highlights like "Wiffle," Herren also plunges deep into the kind of dense, chaotic programming that could be taken as de rigeur (for him) if it weren't so effective and beautiful. "Two Hum" borrows the minimalist vibraphone of Tortoise, but lifts it into another realm, and the four-part "Paz Suite" works a stuttered breakbeat while moving through excellent cut-up vocals, scratching, and more melodic techno. Perhaps the title is a reference to the programming time essential to creating this kind of work, but the results are simply and utterly enjoyable.

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