Prefuse 73

One Word Extinguisher

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Prefuse 73's second album for Warp should be the one that catapults Scott Herren into the programming firmament occupied by Warp mainstays like Autechre and Aphex Twin. A fascinating collection of glitchy breakbeats and inventive, melodic experimental techno, One Word Extinguisher is a set of electronica that's nearly as challenging as Autechre's relentlessly academic beat manipulation but just as funky and instantly gratifying as a Fatboy Slim flag-waver. (Certainly those famous former b-boys in Plaid could never hope to score a Foot Locker commercial.) But forget electronic music -- Herren is trying to take hip-hop to the next level with a vision of breakbeat music that, like the crunchy digital productions of Timbaland and Neptunes, pushes hip-hop production into the future. Quintessentially '70s and '80s innovations like samplers and analog mixers are giving way to digital software and CD mixers, and Herren welcomes the changeover; "Huevos With Jeff and Roni," one of the record's three vocal tracks, features Def Jux's Mr. Lif "on a minisc mic." Not that Russell Simmons is about to jump on the Prefuse bandwagon, or a Scott Herren line of urban fashionwear is in the cards, but One Word Extinguisher means as much to the future of underground rap as it does to experimental techno. Skater hero and lo-fi mastermind Tommy Guerrero, Ann Arborite Dabrye, and Plug Research's own Daedelus each stop by for intriguing co-productions.

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