With a myriad of pseudonyms under his belt, Miami-based Scott Herren is an intriguing bird of prey, scavenging the remains of electronica, down tempo post-rock and hip-hop like others drink milk. As it stands, the man is too big to play around with only one genre at a time, let alone sticking to the same old crap forever. Drawing the name for his latest incarnation from his keen interest in pre-fusion jazz "circa 1973", Herren has set himself the rather impressive task of reinventing hip-hop. Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives is an incredibly dense record, and Herren's hip-hop is no classic MC overflow. As he puts it himself, the human voice is "just another layer of sound", and the intention here is not to convey any kind of political message, but to work on the correlation between language and music. For this purpose, Herren uses lyrical performances, from which he surgically extracts crucial moments, which he randomly re-injects over syncopated, red-hot beats and funky electronic deconstructions, sometimes allowing a slight melody to filter for an instant. And this is where the strength of the man's talent is the most impressive. As he swerves between genres, not favouring one over the other, Herren creates his own blend of twisted sounds and structures, and, although some influences are traceable, the elaborate compositions have their own personality and style. The addition of vocals is no more anachronic. Herren's compositions disturb as much as they challenge the mind, as he inserts his shreds of samples at strategic moments, creating a constant feeling of insecurity and oppression. As the album progresses, and the listener is under a constant flow of imaginative ideas, pieces of the puzzle progressively fall into place, with songs like Radio Attack, Life/Death, Point To B (already featured on the Estrocaro EP), or Back In Time, demonstrating time and time again that hip-hop doesn't need a strong message to be powerful and intelligent. In fact, it feels here like it is only when submitted to this kind of treatment that it actually gets its full impact. As the MC becomes integrant part of the sound, Scott Herren rethinks hip-hop, funk and electronic and produces an impressive album, likely to be a source of inspiration for musicians for years to come.