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Expatriates on parade: You can take the boy out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the boy -- no matter what the city. "Returning" to New York is like a homecoming for this half-Yankee, and also one of the best ways to reflect on Atlanta. And it just so happens that last week, there were a handful of other temporary transplants around as well.

On Wednesday, Nov. 5, Prefuse 73 played the Bowery Ballroom. The project of one Scott Herren (who was joined on stage by Tortoise drummer Johnny Herndon), Prefuse 73 was among several personas gestated in Atlanta before Herren relocated to Barcelona. Marrying boom-bap and bleep-blip through deft sampler savvy, Herren has grown increasingly compelling and assured on stage. The result is concentrated cut-up chaos that, for all its flecks, remains solely hip-hop at its core. Work once gingerly beguiling in presentation is a forceful barrage of stuttered percussion live.

That's not to say Herren's focus has moved solely toward harnessing aggression. Watch in January for Apropa't (Warp Records), his new album as Savath + Savalas, with its sun-speckled Spanish guitar and lilting lullabies -- dare say a "Catalan Pink Floyd," comments DJ Gnosis of Eastern Developments, the label co-founded by Herren.

In attendance at Prefuse 73 was Atlanta DJ/producer Grant Aaron of Lifeform Project. Aaron was in town for a Nov. 6 Filter 14 date by Magda -- the Berlin-based techno DJ who has appeared in Atlanta -- and to play Nov. 8 at Void, an L-shaped SoHo lounge akin to the Crescent Room in its welcoming intimacy -- but with Eastside Lounge's video projections and high ceilings. Also on decks was ATLectro's Bethany, playing a bucking, rubbery robo-funk set to Grant's headier minimal exploration.

"The way the club was close-knit reminded me of Atlanta," said Bethany. "The lights were down low, and people were really there to dance, not preen -- which is always refreshing."

On the related note, if you happen to be in Zoo York Nov. 18-21, catch another ATLien invasion when MJQ Concourse's Kai Alce and Steve DeNiro show up as featured guests at several spots. Nov. 18, the pair invades APT (Madhattan), along with resident and fellow member of the Dirty (South) Dozen, Karl Injex. And Nov. 21, the pair bunker down in The Duplexx (Crooklyn).

Stars aligning: Love must go out to longtime roving fixture DJ Matt "Starboy" Silliman, Eleven50 resident and the red-headed/bottle-blond stepchild of the Backstreet Boys, who celebrated a birthday Nov. 7. Keep on rockin' that box -- whatever that means.

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