Published May 27, 2015Aside from being Guillermo Scott Herren's most notable moniker, the name Prefuse 73 will always be intrinsically linked with the birth of glitch-hop. A pioneer in his field, Herren has been as prolific as he has been influential. He's racked up 20 albums under various aliases such as Savath + Savalas, Delarosa & Asora, Diamond Watch Wrists and Piano Overlord, not to mention countless remixes, EPs and collaborations.
Though a long-standing artist on Warp Records, his new spate of releases — a musical triptych, consisting of the Rivington Não Rio LP and two EPs, Forsyth Gardens and Every Color of Darkness — sees him move to Temporary Residence Ltd., based in Brooklyn, a city that's had a huge influence on Herren's recent recordings.
While some people can draw inspiration from seclusion, it's exactly the opposite for Herren. Long drives and open spaces are the architects of his creative downfall, slowing down his productivity to a snail's pace. New York's constant bustle, on the other hand, is teeming with guiding light.
"In a place like New York, you're never weary because you're always in someone else's face like 'What the fuck is goin' on man!?' and what just happened on that block could be completely different to what happens on the next block, which I feel makes it one of those places that's totally conducive to making music," Herren tells Exclaim!
The city is so inspirational, in fact, that these releases are named after parts of it — Forsyth is a street by Herren's house, which has lots of gardens; Rivington Não Rio is an homage to another area of the city. Only the upcoming release, Every Color of Darkness, remains the oddball, but it's also Herren's favourite of the three. This may be due to the fact that it was the most recently recorded. While he didn't go in to much detail about the upcoming EP, we're promised a "slight change of pace with a couple of absolute gems."
If it's anything like its predecessors, we can expect a nice selection of glitched-out beats and wistful tones, which is something that's been missing for a while now. Prefuse 73's last release, The Only She Chapters, inevitably alienated a lot of his fans, which is still a source of regret for Herren.
"I think The Only She Chapters was me not wanting to do beats for a while," he explains. "I went through a stage with Prefuse where I wanted to do something completely different, but now looking back at it, I should have just done it under a different name [laughs]. It really didn't make much sense now that I think about it, it's like 'Damn, I easily could've called this something else and let be its own thing,' because I feel like I unintentionally alienated a lot of my fans that just wanted to hear what I normally do as Prefuse. That, for me, is my biggest regret about it. It's not that I regret the music, I just should have catalogued it differently."
Despite some remorse and a four-year silence, Herren is adamant that Prefuse 73 is going to be around for a long time. While other projects may rise and fall, the constantly acclimatizing nature of Prefuse 73 saves it from going stale.
"It's a product and a type of music that's inspired by what's around it, so it's never really out of place, as I see it," Herren offers. "There's always room for it to fit in somewhere. Other things I do definitely run their course, 'cause I inevitably feel that they've had their time. Whatever incubation that old hip-hop has existed in, or whatever one new hip-hop is in, it doesn't go away, so it kind of propels whatever Prefuse is and it's rooted in that adaptation."
Even though his entire trio of releases aren't yet out, Herren is already back in the studio. His current work, which is being undertaken in Nick Hook's studio is "growing organically and evolving conceptually as it goes along." The release will feature rapper Michael Christmas and is to be put out by Lex Records, a hip-hop offshoot of Warp that became independent in 2005.
In addition to this, Herren is lining up a collaboration with the Haxan Cloak, who, along with Arca, played an important role in the production of Björk's recent album, Vulnicura.
In the meantime, both Forsyth Gardens and Rivington Não Rio are out now, while Every Color of Darkness is due to arrive on July 14.