One Word Extinguisher
Record label: Warp (UK)
Format: 2xLP/CD
Release date: 6 May 2003

The work of Scott Herren just keeps improving, and we have Prefuse 73 to thank for it. Always the most captivating of Herren's pseudonyms. One Word Extinguisher extends the possibilities of the IDM/hip-hop marriage. "Perverted Undertone" provides proof of a smoother, more confident Prefuse, with an inverted saxophone riding a sunshine shuffle. However, as the title implies, the song is slightly dark. There's also the dreamy essence of "90% of My Mind Is With You," featuring rubbery synths wrapping themselves around fractured radio transmissions. Neo-soul divas dive in and out of rhythmic currents on "Why I Love You" while an electronic snare drum pimp slaps you repeatedly. Occasionally, Scott shares the spotlight with a few guests, such as Mr. Lif, Tommy Guerrero, and Diverse (the surprise favorite MC on last year's single "Wylin' Out" with Mos Def), who shows out again on "Plastic." The album also includes the remix he did for Daedalus, which could inspire a head-nodding convention. After his stunning debut album, you had to wonder if the next full-length would be as good. Not only is One Word Extinguisher a good album, it's the kind that reminds us what's possible in hip-hop. Creative, ambitious, and just plain fun.

{chloe knuckles}

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