Piano Overlord: Tease
Money Studies

Less dense than his Prefuse 73 and even Savath & Savalas material, Piano Overlord unveils yet another side of the remarkably gifted Scott Herren, even if the project's acoustic sound sometimes drinks melodically and rhythmically from the Prefuse well. Interestingly enough, the project originated by way of error, specifically Herren losing material that prevented him from giving Money Studies a promised Diplo remix. To compensate, Herren created for the label entirely new Piano Overlord material using non-synthesized keyboards and drums, though in a deliberately more restrained fashion than his norm.

Apparently, there's a full-length in the works, variously reported to be coming out on Chocolate Industries or Money Studies but, for now, the 12-inch Tease EP offers a tantalizing foretaste. With its free jazz drum and electric piano flourishes, “Recuerdas?” opens the disc like some ‘60s Herbie Hancock improv. Next up is “Walk Home” and, though the instrumentation is acoustic and sample-free, the hiccupping groove and soulfully entrancing melodies are still textbook Herren. On the B side, “Electric Manatee (Diplo remix)” takes a decidedly funkier turn with deep synth banks bleeding over scurrying, chugging rhythms while Dante Carfagna contributes a blissful downtempo groove to “Spring's Arrival (Express Rising remix),” deeply funky despite minimal instrumentation.

March 2005