Everything She Touched..., the fifth album by Scott Herren under his Prefuse moniker, is comprised of discrete tracks sequenced disjunctively. Which begs the question: Why the hell would Herren think that this is a remotely good idea? If one accomplishment was to be singled out from Herren's first two albums—Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives and One Word Extinguisher, still his best work—it is the deftness with which diverse slabs of glitch-peppered instrumental hip-hop were weaved together fluidly. To completely eliminate those transitions from his aesthetic, thereby discarding any cohesion or thematic consistency, is to do away with one of the most inspired touchstones of Prefuse 73's music.
Perhaps the reason behind this quixotic decision was to present himself with a new challenge—to try and string together increasingly disparate tracks. But then, as with his last album, Preparations, Everything She Touched… is desperately in need of an editor, or at least someone unafraid of deleting inchoate compositions. The first seven tracks, "Periodic Measurements of Infrequent Smiles" to "Sexual Fantasy Scale," all clock in at a minute or less, with no apparent logical sequence. A more patient listener might strain to internalise this section, but it's difficult to fathom it not being an invariably fruitless effort.
The album isn't entirely innocuous, though. Of the 29 selections, nine are in the two-to-five minute range, resembling actual, belabored songs, the majority of which fall in line with Prefuse's most venerable work. "Regato"'s breezy acoustic guitar, spectral sighs and slight digital dissonance is reminiscent of Herren's material as Savath & Savalas—forming the nearest imaginable equivalent to laptop Tropicália. "Simple Loop Choir" speaks for itself, except that the loop slowly dissolves, like a William Basinski piece in fast forward. And "Preparation's Kids Choir" would have fit right in on One Word Extinguisher, its cultivated microskronk flashing hard drive-thru beats and assorted computerised noises.
Ultimately, though, the songs are brief gusts of wind amid the frequent nausea of recycled airplane oxygen. If Herren is to try and further fracture his music again, here's hoping for some fresh air.
Wed / 24 Jun 2009
01. Periodic Measurements of Infrequent Smiles
02. Hairy Faces (stress)
03. Parachute Panador
06. Half up Front
07. Sexual Fantasy Scale
08. DEC. Machine Funk all ERA's
09. Get em High
10. Ampexian Tribe of a Lesser Time
11. When is a good time?
12. Fountains of Spring
13. Whipcream Eyepatch
15. Rubber Stems
16. Oh is it
17. Four Reels Collide
18. Fringertip Trajectories
19. Violent Bathroom Exchange
20. Natures Uplifting Revenge
22. Simple Loop Choir
23. No Lights Still Rock - Feat. Dimlite
24. Gaslamp Killer Feedback Text
25. Digan Lo
26. Preperation's Kids Choir
27. Pitch Pipe
28. Periodic Measurements of Infrequent Frowns
29. Formal Dedications