Prefuse 73 Security Screenings

Less than a year after recording an album dominated by other voices, sketch-hop producer Guillermo Scott Herren (aka Prefuse 73) swings the pendulum back the other way, returning to the largely instrumental soundscapes that have made his name. Security Screenings is a concise and rather melodic journey into sound manipulation; Herren finds ways to all but sing at various points throughout the album with his clever use of dissected samples and electronic tones. The album plays as one long relaxed movement, and with 17 tracks crammed into a relatively brief 40 minutes, there’s just enough time for a song to reach full bloom while never withering into the repetitious monotony that plagues so many instrumental beat discs. The scattered distant voices that appear in songs like ethereal "Matrimonoids” and in reverse on "Always It’s Gonna Be Like That” are well placed and serve mainly as one more sound in the producers enormous pallet, as most of them are largely unintelligible. With few guests on the album — he teams up with like-minded beat surgeon Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) on "Creating Cyclical Headaches” and closes things out with a chorus of vocals by TV On the Radio’s Babatunde Adebimpe — Security Screenings is a prime example of what Herren as a producer can do when left to his own devices. (Warp)