Prefuse 73, God.Damn.Chan @ (Le) Poisson Rouge (26.06.2019)

The New York club (Le) Poisson Rouge has already been a sanctuary for experimental electronic musicians for quite a while. It has been visited by the famous British duo Autechre, the duo of Andy Turner and Ed Handley Plaid, and many others. 

On June 26th, 2019, the club held yet another event featuring an artist whose work can be labeled as experimental electronic music. This musician was Scott Herren, better known under his stage name, Prefuse 73. His concerts in New York are not a rarity, as he resides in the city.

The planned event began with Californian beatmaker and musician under the name of God.Damn.Chan, who opened for Perfuse 73. Even though God.Damn.Chan is a brand new name in the music scene, he has already gotten himself noticed with a hip-hop album Slush, which was published in February last year.

His set consisted of rather approachable commercial hip-hop. The musician also played a few house tracks closer to the end. The main setup consisted of a computer and a device, which the musician periodically used to playback beats; indeed, what's a beatmaker without beats? Essentially the only element of the God.Damn.Chan live show is the generated beats. The venue not completely filled yet, the audience was reserved, rarely showing initiative and dancing rather passively. Another track included in the set by the musician was a pretty mainstream remix of an already mainstream song Mia by Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny, made in collaboration with Canadian rapper Drake. And that's about all that can be said about the set: uncomplicated, conspiring to prepare the audience for how rhythmical the concert would be.

And then the time came for the performance of Prefuse 73, the very reason I decided to come to Le Poisson Rouge. Frankly speaking, having deeply studied Scott's art, I was really wondering what exactly the musician had prepared for this particular concert and how it would sound. Scott's existing body of work is one thing, yet a live performance is a whole different dimension of music. And strangely enough, I would find confirmation to this idea later on. The musician was offering an entirely different kind of content to the audience in the very first seconds of the set, an entirely different mood that came as a breath of fresh air after such an unsurprising set by God.Damn.Chan. Even though Scott hasn't brought anything stylistically new into his music, he has perfected his own sound until it shined like a mirror. It didn't have any outside, unusual for the musician music styles at all. Prefuse 73 sounded like it would never sound on any of the released albums. It had all the energy, all the dancing, all the experimentalism, all the melodicity, essentially all possible positive qualities that could be applied to it. And in my opinion, many people in the audience were wishing for this live to never end, the drive and the infinite dynamics were so strong. Just like God. Damn. Chan, Herren's setup only consisted of a computer and just one other electronic device. But it didn't spoil the fun even in the slightest. Prefuse 73 set could be perceived as a joined canvas, as all the tracks were quite similar to each other during the hour and a half. Even though the music was very well suited for dancing, the people who found themselves at the concert once again didn't have the impulse to explode into dancing. Instead, they favored carefully moving with the rhythm of the music. There was no accompanying visual performance to be seen, but I don't consider it to be highly necessary or important. At the beginning of Scott’s live show, I noticed that the club immediately got filled with new people and the audience grew from only 15-17 people (that were around for God Damn Chan) to about 100 people. It is heartwarming that the American audience remembers and appreciates their musicians. It's even more heartwarming that this music is under the «intelligent» tag.

Prefuse 73

To sum everything up briefly, a conclusion can be made that the American electronic scene certainly benefits a lot from artists such as Prefuse 73, as they bring personal innovation and lack any kind of mediocrity. Unfortunately, there are only dozens of those artists even in such a big country as the USA. So, in the case of Scott Herren, I am fairly sure that even members of the audience that had mostly spoken negatively of him, have positively changed their disposition towards him after witnessing for themselves what he can do at the concert stage. Even with all the experience at attending electronic events in New York I would rate this one as #1. How come? The answer
is simple. It is 100% thanks to the unique impeccable sound that can only exist due to 100% commitment and high individual professionalism. BLACK LIVES MATTER

Prefuse 73 
(Le) Poisson Rouge

Author: Ilya Kudrin