Prefuse 73

'Silence' Is Golden

ScottBarcelona-based artist Scott Herren steers his Prefuse 73 project in a new direction on "Surrounded by Silence," due this week from Warp Records. The set de-emphasizes Herren's warm, instrumental electronica in favor of collaborations with top-shelf hip-hop artists, including El-P and Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah on the single "Hideyaface."

Herren's change of pace has polarized his burgeoning fan base but also seems primed to bring his music to a new audience. "People tend to forget what the essential starting point of hip-hop is, which is collaborating and feeding off other people's music," he says. "At this point in my life, I could care less who is in their hating phase or not, because they've obviously missed out on a whole aspect of hip-hop."

Although Herren's new work should have appeal to the broader R&B/hip-hop market, the track "Hideyaface" has so far charted only on Billboard's Hot Dance Singles tally, where this week it is No. 9.

Fans can judge "Silence" in person during Prefuse 73's spring tour, which begins April 28 in Orlando, Fla. "We'll take the instrumentals as far as they can go for the tracks that don't have people on top," Herren says. "But how will we do the beats without people on top and make it transcend and be recognizable? I hope it's not like, 'Where the f*ck are all these people?' Sorry, I can't bring 20-some people on tour!"