"Fans familiar with Scott Herren's (a.k.a. Prefuse 73) other works might be surprised with his newest release. In Vocal Studies & Uprock Narratives and One Word Extinguisher, critics were wowed by his innovative and wildly original music. Beats were heavily tweaked, and pops and static were transformed into carefully planned hip hop symphonies. Savath & Savalas is, for the most part, void of all boom-bap. This, however, is not Prefuse 73. Blending an eclectic mix of Brazilian Psych, Afro beat, Cuban, and other South American influences, this album comes off like a Bebel Gilberto album without the pop influences. Much of the album sounds like live instrumentation and it is very difficult to say what was sampled. This is one reason this album will appeal to hip hop heads (How did this guy do this?). It will also appeal to people not accustomed to the sporadic and unconventional beats on some of the more experimental hip hop (Anti Pop Consortium, early Aceyalone). It's hard to say what is so great about the album, but I found myself completely captivated by the first minute of the second track (when the almost hip hop beat drops on a chilling instrumental arrangement). Most of the album is quite delicate, however, and Scott's usual rapid fire snares are replaced by brush strokes. Standout tracks are almost impossible to pick on this album, as the album begs to be played in its entirety (only about 40 minutes). Check out the tracks "A La Nit," "Ultimo Tren," and "Um Girrasol da Cor de Seu" for a few of the more memorable moments. Fans of modern world music will rejoice at both the original and traditional elements this album contains."
Spanish Sophistication (4.5/5)
M. Starr | Kansas City | 05/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Scott Herren, the man who has acquired several musical aliases, is easily one of the most well respected and talented artists making music today. This year will be no exception. Keep in mind that last year saw the release of two highly respected albums, One Word Extinguisher and the quick follow-up Extinguished: Outtakes. With the critical success of both, we began to realize that Herren is not only extremely talented at his craft, but he's also quite prolific at churning out one exceptional album after another. That's quite refreshing when you think about how many of your favorite artists only manage to release material once every two or three years. With Herren, however, it's obvious that he has so many outlets he needs to work through to get his inspirations out on record. Therefore, we get many different projects with many different styles and flavors. Whether it's the glitch-hop of Prefuse 73, the ambient-glitch of Delarosa & Asora, or the sophistication of Savath & Savalas, we're always given handsome insight into Herren's fortitude of sounds.More times than not, I find myself in amazement that Herren can create a multitude of albums with the same intensity, yet somehow they're always devoid of monotony. The downright awe-inspiring new release from his Savath & Savalas moniker, Apropa't, is arguably some of his best work to date. For me personally, it's my favorite album he's released; and that was concluded after only one listen. It's certainly his most elegant and focused work thus far, while also his most unrecognizable. Ultimately, he's proven once again that his talent and devotion to his art places him head-and-shoulders above the rest of the producers in his field.Herren spent nearly a year and a half in Barcelona, Spain for personal reasons and in that time became acquainted with Eva Puyelo Muns, a Catalano singer, who lends her vocals to most of the album. The sounds of the culture are prevalent throughout the entire recording of Apropa't. They are sounds of pillow-y soft sophistication and simplicity just on the cusp of floating away. Only on rare occasion, like "Why She'd Come?" and "Victima Belleza," do we find even the slightest subtle remnants of tape manipulation that has become the main element of Herren's work. The rest is sublime placement of everything from classical guitar to harps. "Te Quiero Pero Por Otro Lado" immediately shows Herren at his most flawless minute on the album. Following closely behind is the introverted tranquility of "Ultimo Tren," which is a rhythmically enticing masterpiece. Also, one of the strongest characteristics here is Herren's ability to be completely subtle with his drum samples. They never take over the songs, but act as a tempo controller. From the start, all of these songs bare a striking resemblance to each other, but are individually strong enough to allow for a perfect listen. Ultimately, what Herren has accomplished with Apropa't is a collection of songs that pay great respect to Catalano music. Its effortlessness will leave most people extremely happy that they came across this beautiful piece of music. With every consecutive release, Herren seems to raise the bar just a little bit higher for him and his peers. Without question, the bar has been raised yet again; and I can't help but fantasize about where he will go next. Apropa't should be around for quite some time. But while it may be the most unfamiliar work of Herren's discography, it's still one of the year's first great albums."
Original Waves of Sound
JBT | Atlanta, GA USA | 02/26/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Now here is a cd that will never reach the masses but one that is utterly original. Complex arrangements that sound effortlessly blended create a sublime atmosphere perfect for a cocktail party, brunch or just hanging out and taking the car for a long drive with the top down. The beautiful cover art and graphics on the insert perfectly match this gorgeous music."
KK Yaggi | East Haven, CT United States | 01/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Right on the heels of One Word Extinguisher, G. Scott Herren has given us a masterfull gift with Apropa't. Beautifully combining his Spanish heritage with signature avant beats and combining the vocal talents of his new friend Eva Mun, Herren has accomplished a work of subtle beauty and lush atmoshphere. Herrren has made the best album of his career. This album is for everyone that searches for true and meainingful sound!!"