Keep On Pushing

Prefuse 73's latest takes hip-hop around the world in 60 minutes

"It was really easy. I would provide a loose topic and they would try to mold their contribution that way. And I was pretty happy with what everyone turned in. It was pretty much exactly what I wanted," Herren says. But despite the best-laid plans of mice and men, there were some surprises along the way. Particularly shocking was the contribution of Tyondai Braxton, an avant-garde guitarist who specializes in projecting odd electronic elements atop chaotic layers of feedback and guitar noise. "Tyondai Braxton blew my mind. I was shocked and just blown away. I remember turning around, be like, 'What the fuck are you doing, man?'" Herron says.

Enjoy the Silence: Prefuse 73 continues to leap musical boundaries.
Enjoy the Silence: Prefuse 73 continues to leap musical boundaries.

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Scheduled to perform with Battles, and Beans, Tuesday, May 24
Old Brickhouse Grill

Accordingly, an aura of wonderment is front and center on Surrounded by Silence. While genre-hopping producers have created the sound du jour, few seem to honestly engage with the music as thoroughly as Herren does. "For me, it's important to be able to express your culture, politics, or anything that really matters to you in music. It's a challenge, but I constantly strive to do that better." And though Herren may never be completely satisfied with his music, his listeners certainly are. They've elevated him to the top of the ever-expanding genre of genreless musicians, and the restless Herren can certainly take comfort in that.

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