Prefuse 73, aka Scott Herren, creates what qualifies as hip-hop's second cousin, a mix of glitch and classic breakbeats, filtering them through mutated samples and coming out clean on the other side w

Prefuse 73, aka Scott Herren, creates what qualifies as hip-hop's second cousin, a mix of glitch and classic breakbeats, filtering them through mutated samples and coming out clean on the other side with vocalists and rappers firmly imbedded in the mayhem. With 2003's solid, unconventional album "One Word Extinguisher," Prefuse impressed critics with his experimental style and meticulous control. Now, with "Surrounded by Silence," he gathers a veritable circus of guest artists and lays them atop nearly every track, the headiness of his electronics broken into vignettes of talent showcasing. Cuts like "Now You're Leaving" (featuring Camu) and "Hideyaface" (featuring Ghostface & El-P) add a vein of weirdness to arresting rhymes, like an academic debate between MCs and the beats that carry them. The album is diverse and slows up where it should. "Surrounded by Silence" is anything but quiet.—KH