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¥712 scorn . greetings from birmingham .. cd . september 2000.
|soon come (version beat)|
|can but try|
|told you can tell|
|told you can tell (part 2 )|
|flap (part 2)|
|can but try (back on itself)|
¥027 scorn . greetings from birmingham . 12" . 33rpm . september 2000.
incl. exclusive remix by surgeon and xingu hill
introducing a new record by mick harris aka scorn is somehow like carrying coal to newcastle, or birmingham, if you like. being a member of various bands and projects like quoit, painkiller, lull, napalm death, just to name a few, we are now concentrating on scorn and here are the bare facts: founded by mick harris in 1991 to create rhythmic, hypnotic drum and bass music. since its inception, with its throbbing low end, ethereal sounds and big beats, scorn has explored previously uncharted musical territory and, in the process, has redefined the world of ambient dub. scorn has emerged as the vanguard of both the post-rock and isolationist aesthetics; appropriating such distinctly communal music as hip hop and dub to extreme individualistic ends.
having released milestones like 'vae solis', 'colossus', 'evanescence', 'whine', 'zander' and especially 'gyral' on various labels and on various occasions, finally the 15th release 'imaginaria award" sees the light of day. 'imaginaria award' features five tracks both on cd and vinyl ranging from slow motion grooves over heavy beats to warm and relaxing structures and sets another highlight in harris' extensive work with and for renowned artists like bill laswell, eraldo bernocchi, john zorn, martyn bates, justin k. broadrick, coil, meat beat manifesto, scanner, autechre, sielwolf, and so forth.
latest works by harris include the remarkable hed nod sessions; an epic series of twelve sessions (four have been recorded so far), where mick harris is trying to create his own musical language regarding the recent evolution of hip hop culture. these sessions have and will set the path for future recordings using a very minimal set of effects and structures but it's giving the listener a very sincere and deep feeling of warmth and strength taken from mastered hip hop rhythms and structures.
despite these sessions released under no special project name there is still scorn with its unique blend of sub bass and minimalist grooves and without doubt mick harris continues to challenge standard concepts of structure in order to forge his own musical path. a monolith among modern beats and drums.
the new empire. www.newempire.com
mick harris, ex-drummer of the grindcore-legend "napalm death" and godfather of the phrase "grindcore" itself seems to be a multi-talented man, because what he presents on the latest release of his project "scorn" has nothing to do with the brutal guitar-music of former days. i remember an interview somewhat back in the early 90s just shortly after his split from napalm death where he told the interviewer hat he has got enough of fast music and wants to create something slow. i guess scorn is the quintessence of slow music. generally it is not easy to describe music so the poor writer often has to use comparisons and descriptions of style to give the reader an idea about the sound of a band. but with scorn this becomes a very difficult task. the music is slow, but that´s what i said before…a mixture of very relaxed big-beats you can already hear on the first track "soon come (version beat)", ambient-soundscapes and pitched-down drum&bass. be aware, this track holds a silent surprise right in the beginning! strange and often distant sounds could give you the impression you listen to a recording of a record that was played loud through the intercom if a space-station. this does not imply a bad sound-quality! it should only give an impression of the layered structure of the music. one of the most interesting tracks on the album is "still on" for sure. it impresses with the various breaks and the arrangement of different drum-sequences without loosing a the general rhythmical direction. my favorite is number 5, "flap", which goes up with the tempo very much and features a sharp hihat/snare - sound and is very straight, almost danceable. the more this album progresses the more you are sucked into a vortex of harris´ sound-ideas. it is like the confrontation with another world. in the beginning it seems very strange to you and the longer you are living in this world, the more comfortable you feel in it. "greetings from birmingham" is a well-done piece of rhythmical and spherical sounds and i advice you to enjoy loud with an excellent hifi-system, because you will be able to feel the music, especially the basses.
i never really was a scorn fan; while respecting creative diversity of mick harris, i was never able to get into his stuff. "imaginaria award" was interesting, casting a strange and short-lived spell on me with its mix of big beats and recognizable bassliness. but "greetings from birmingham" is different. to begin with, this album is *fun*; it has a grooving, energetic sound that emanates not the childish, happy kind of fun (after all, scorn *is* "no joke movement"), but rather a well-thought out, enjoyable fascination with sound and moods that have a groovy yet quite edgy atmosphere. one of the main things i discovered about this album is its amazing balance of repetitive simple percussion, deep heavy basslines and a widest variety of atmospheric textures building on the background. those textures are built with atonal isolated strings, strange small noises, atmospheric washes, drones, clicks, squeals. most of those sounds, taken out of the music, would be impossible to imagine as a part of any music piece of this kind, but mick harris pulls it off with amazing skill, that at times reminds me of xingu hill or ammo. at the end those contrasting elements is what makes this record so interesting; both themes (rhythmic and ambient) are strong in scorn's music, therefore giving it a touch of both worlds, hypnotizing and energizing at the same time. my favorite tracks at this moment include "still on" with very simple rhythmic formula mixed with a few melodic lines that seem to have lives of their own, flirting with small random noises. short pauses are full of building intensity. layers of frequencies and corroded noises are a building blocks behind the rhythmic structure of "part of." two remixes offer a further exploration of scorn's concepts; both of them are among my favorites on the album. slow atmospheric beginning of "closedown (remix by surgeon)" splashes into a liquid groove filled with creaking distant noises, clicks and atonal sounds. towards the end it becomes unbelievably dense contrasting intricate web of small noises, meaningful pauses, random loops created by xingu hill on remix of "that don't." this remix emphasizes and enriches ambient textures created by scorn. a deranged phantasmagoric feel of this track blends nicely with the rest of the album. this scorn album turned out to be unexpectedly rich and unusual. peculiar flavor of ambient with a rhythmic technoid touch. rigid and repetitive structure of the tracks turned out to be a clever foundation for exploration in textures and percussion, something that becomes obvious with a set of good headphones
im rhythmus bleiben. www.blackuniverse.com/rhythmus
mick harris, being a member of various projects, is now focusing on scorn. redifining ambient dub with latent hip-hop beats, drum-n-bass, industrial and other non-conformist combinations of sounds, greetings >from birmingham continues the ongoing saga of slow-motion grooves and heavy beats. oddly enough this combination of sounds and styles creates a distinctly relaxing, ethereal and hypnotic tone. scorn takes the listener into the depths of groove, in the subconscious space of mick harris. all the styles of music used to create the sound that is only scorn are all used in very untraditional combinations and blends. sub bass and big beats message your mind. minimal yet not simplistic. very untraditional dub!
kaiju @ electronic surveillance webzine new reviews. http://elektronicsurveillance.homestead.com
hymen delivers this brand new album by the very popular dub / drum and bass act scorn. mick harris (scorn, amongst a slew of many many other projects and even a label) may have put out his most enjoyable album yet. right from the first intro track "soon come" you know you are in for a chilled out and very bass heavy listen. "can but try" takes on the typical scorn fashion with interesting background sounds with the trademark heavy as hell bass lines driving slow funky snares. "still on" bubbles with a buzzy background and percussion reminiscent of slow hip hop with many changes in the drum sounds and sequencing. high end sounds seem to fly by and pan around from time to time. "told you can tell" picks up the pace and adds a tamberine like sound with some of the most brutal bass i have heard in his material. "flap" goes right for frantic drum programming then steadys out the rhythm with fading tones dominating the high end atmosphere. "soon come" is a longer more interesting version of the intro track. "told you can tell (part 2)" is so quiet it barely exists. "closedown" is one of the best and harder hitting tracks. nice tonal arrangements with a catchy beat, random distorted kicks with the addition of flowy high end sounds at random with a snare sneaking in to break up the beat. "part of" plays with the drum sounds a bit adding a quacky sounding snare, a harp tearing through the rhythm and various drum progressions. "flap (part 2)" is blatent ambient tones. "that don't" drones in with random tones then a tapping cymbal takes on a clangy d&b rhythm with and nice phasing bass line that gurgles throughout and drives into a crunchy ending with random breaks. "can but try (back on itself)" is 11 seconds of ear torture ow! "melt" lets the high end with a less driving rhythm fade the album to a close. its hard to describe scorn for someone that has never heard it. fairly chill, always bass heavy and not *too* hard on the ears. i recommend this album for a long drive or sitting down and listening to it with some headphones as this gives the best listening result. pick up this fun and interesting album and check it out for yourself, it is my favorite work from scorn yet.
wet-works electrozine. http://wetworks.cjb.net/
mick harris (quoit, painkiller, lull, napalm death, etc.) is behind the deep, pulsating bass and killer ambient-dub music of scorn's latest release, greetings from birmingham. mick harris showcases a mastery of percussion on this album as he jumps from one break to the next and intertwines various percussions into a tranquil flow. while a lot of the tracks remain similar throughout, the constant groove and mystery of each track holds you in a calm trance. i think this is how harris intended the album to be, not as individual tracks, but one long, flowing masterpiece. building on enough bass to make your windows shake, harris fuses electronic creepiness, minimal ambient dub and a surprisingly fresh arsenal of hip-hop drum beats and rhythms. no track really stands out from the rest, but all are continuously entertaining. recommended to those looking for something a little more calm and relaxing
there's life yet in this dead body. a year or so ago, mick harris said scorn was dead; and, after witnessing the label-hopping that he went through to release the last few scorn albums, it didn't come as much of a surprise. harris, in turn, left the body where it fell and moved on to other projects. it comes, then, as a bit of a shock to find this shambling revenant at the door with some pulse still in it. greetings from birmingham is like the last ten minutes in night of the living dead. you've boarded up the windows and blocked the doors. you're out of shotgun shells, nails, baseball bats, dishware, and all you can do is cower in the tiny cupboard under the stairs as the zombies bang and bang at the wooden walls. they're going to get in sooner or later; it's just a matter of time. listening to a scorn album is a similar assault--a relentless pounding and tearing at your ears and brain until you collapse. but harris doesn't come at you like a lot of the current noise terrorists who have found home at ant-zen and the hymen sister label; scorn drags itself ponderously across the floor at you, making a noisy approach like inevitable thunder. every subsonic basso thud is an ever-widening hole in your defenses. the screeches and whines and groans are the sound of your body breaking down--your defenses fragmenting. greetings from birmingham has a musty miasma to it--a "been there, done that" sort of smell. but don't turn your back on scorn yet; there's still life here--blasted rhythms from tracks like "told you can tell" and "closedown" have a ragged funkiness hanging from them. the clattering sense of hip-hop rhythms and deranged metallic melodies may just be the sight of something fresh growing in the once-still body.
remember bringing home scorn's "gyral," "ellipsis," or "evanescence" and being absolutely in love with the sound? following the medium-well release of "logghi barogghi" there wasn't much excitement with the scorn name affixed to the product. mick harris pursued other avenues of sound sculpture which have all been fairly decent while releases like "zander" or "whine" weren't anything you'd pull from the shelves to listen to all that often. but then, almost out of nowhere, scorn is back through ant-zen's ever-growing hymen imprint. the four-song "imaginaria award" ep was released earlier this year giving me faith and hope for something good brewing. when "greetings from birmingham" arrived, i was as thrilled as the kid who finally gets his luke skywalker action figure he always wanted. "fuck, yeah!" scorn indeed does rule again, with powerful hard dub and metal influenced beats screaming from the speakers. "play me loud" the music shouts in my ear. i follow the orders and am not let down. thanks mick, we missed you. - jon whitney
mick harris (scorn) has previously been a member of bands such as quoit, painkiller, lull and napalm death and has worked with respected artists such as bill laswell, coil, meat beat manifesto, scanner and autechre. he formed scorn in 1991 to create rhythmic, hypnotic drum 'n' bass and has developed the project from that point onward. "greetings from birmingham" takes his music a step further, combining hip-hip beats, electronically throbbing basslines and atmospheric synths to create dark twisted ambient dub soundscapes. various pitches of dark throbbing buzzes contrast cool laidback hip-hop beats. lower in mix are cinematic synth atmospherics, occasionally gaining full exposure as the bass and beats are completely stripped away. there is even an occasional vocal sample thrown in. great stuff. another excellent hymen album that slickly combines beats from one genre with the bassline and synths from others in a way that sounds completely normal. the mixture works perfectly. dark but extremely cool. highly recommended. note that the cd and vinyl versions of this release contain about 50% different tracks, the double 12" format containing a surgeon remix of "closedown" and a xingu hill remix of "that don't".
orkus nr. 11 november 2000
acht studioalben, ein remix-album mit beiträgen der gesamten englischen electronica-elite und ein live-album sind seit 1992 unter dem namen scorn erschienen. allein diese harten fakten lassen schon voller ehrfurcht auf das neunte album des ambient-dub-avantgarde-projekts blicken, das nach einer langen geschichte bei earache records und einer kurzen diaspora auf dem amerikanischen invisible-label jetzt beim regensburger ant-zen-ableger hymen gelandet ist. auch auf greetings from birmingham schwelgt die elektronische experimentalplattform des einstmaligen metal- und rock-gurus mick harris in abgrundtiefen bässen, schlurfenden dub-beats und einem wohl typisch englischen sinn für schräge melodien, harmonien und sphärenklänge. die erdigen grooves bilden auf der knapp über 50 minuten langen cd das monotone fundament für eine ganze reihe von exkursionen in dunkle ambient-gefilde und die schräge, warp-offene electronica-welt. harris kann wohl ohne zu übertreiben als einer der vorreiter der modernen electronica- und ambient-bewegung angesehen werden, und in anbetracht all der schönen soundtüftelei auf greetings from birmingham verzeiht man ihm sogar gern, dass die monströsen grooves und endlosen soundlandschaften streckenweise etwas zu schleppend geraten sind. trotzdem bleibt unterm strich ein schönes stück elektronischer musik zu bestaunen, das wieder einmal die grenzen zwischen dance und industriellem underground verschwimmen lässt. (alexander maciol)
equinoxe ausgabe 14
es bleibt mir nach wie vor ein rätsel, warum mick harris alias scorn nach nunmehr neun studioalben außerhalb von großbritannien immer noch den status eines geheimtipps innehat. beginnend mit dem damals noch stark metallastigen ‚vae solis'-longplayer (1992) - auf dem noch nick bullen zu hören war - hat mick harris im verlauf der rasch voranschreitenden evolution seines minimalistischen dub/elektro/industrial-sounds kein einziges schwaches album veröffentlicht und noch heute ragen ‚evanescence' (1994), ‚colossus' (1993) oder ‚gyral' (1995) wie monolithen aus der masse ähnlicher elektro-veröffentlichungen heraus. ‚greetings from birmingham' und die aus dieser session hervorgegangene mcd ‚imaginaria award' bilden da keine ausnahme: bleischwere beats and drums, hypnotische bässe und beängstigende synthetische soundfetzen erzeugen einen mahlstrom, welcher einen bis zum letzten ton der jeweiligen cd nicht mehr freigibt. weitere worte kann man sich an diese-cr stelle eigentlich schenken. ‚greetings from birmingham' ist für mich - wie der restliche scorn-backkatalog - ein unverzichtbares basisinvestment für die heimische plattensammlung. (kai fischbach)
side-line no.34 january/february/march 2001
mick harris aka scorn doesn't need any further introduction. he became one of the absolute pioneers and leading forces of the so called ambient-dub music. where bigger names like autechre or future sound of london got international recognition, the sound of scorn remains much more underground. the latest brainchild of harris 'greetings from birmingham' sounds a bit like a postcard he sends us from the dubby-chill out fields of his inner-conscience. the point with scorn is that you've to be a real addict to get fascinated for the whole listening. i personally appreciate and adore his work, but after a while i get the impression that he stagnates in groovy-ambient corridors without an exit! the lazy hiphop tempo gets you in a total state of devotion while the industrial and experimental ambient background leads you to the front door of a hypnotic trip. i want to get out ater 5 or 6 tracks, but there's no way back... i have to wait for the ultimate composition (track number 13) to get back on earth, both feet on the ground. anyway, this is scorn on its best... the addicts already dive back for a second trip! (dp)
mr. harris returns with his latest album of ambience and electronics. i still can't get it out of my head (and i know i should be slapped for this), the fact that he was in 'napalm death' all those years ago. a solid release that's relaxing and true to what you expect from scorn. nothing amazing though, and to be fair, scorn are one of those artists that i forget about all too quickly. (tony)
i remember when scorn was still a metal band. i was at a gig in my hometown in 1992 and scorn was playing aggresively: hard guitars, bass and live drums by mick harris. today, would you believe it, scorn are a slow ambient like techno-band. the first thing that comes to my mind is flat-eric/mr. oizo, the little teddy-bear who was in the levi's commercial. scorn's sounds remind me of the sound mr. oizo used on his music. everything is damn slow and extremely boring. 13 tracks mick harris could have kept to himself well hidden in birmingham. (atle marcussen)
slow motion beats, minimalist grooves and technoid manipulations are thrown in an experimental film-noir atmosphere for the latest output from scorn. the hypnotic ambient dub usually embracing the mick harris' project is adeptly redefined and gives to greetings from birmingham a much more individualistic character. this album follows scorn's 15th release, the mcd and 12" imaginaria award, issued on its new home, the technoid label of ant-zen, hymen. a cool minimalism unites the tracks, each of them with a warm and relaxing structure instead of being cold and dull. can but try moves with a superbly crafty and deep groove with atmospheric and dense electronics oscillating. closedown brings the rhythm upfront structured with heavy beats surrounded by wiry electronics creating a subtle, yet abyss-like, darkness. that don't is a colossal and complex collage of beats and rhythms, highlighted by a sinister ambient touch which carries to the back on itself version of can but try, a barely one minute high-pitched sound and the conclusion of melt, where gloomy electronics are fused with a distant disassembled jazzy beat. greetings from birmingham is a very personal album for its owner. here, the listener will rapidly find himself drown in the thick and languid compositions of scorn's mick harris, as each time through the album becomes a fascinating and intriguing venture into the propulsion of the mind.
drum'n'bass der besonderen art legt scorn, aka mick harris, mit
seinem mittlerweile 17. album "greeetings from birmingham" vor - und
das in einer beachtlichen zeitspanne. 1991 gründetete das
ex-mitglied von napalm death, painkiller, quoit und lull das projekt
und arbeitet seitdem fieberhaft an einer neuen linie in der szene.
unter dem rasanten tempo der veröffentlichungen hat die
qualität der alben aber keineswegs zu leiden. vielmehr spürt
man eine stetige leistungssteigerung. scorn, das ist rhythmischer,
hypnotischer drum'n'bass, der hervorragend in einen düsteren und
verrauchten club passt. soundspielereien machen die scheibe zu einem
interessanten hörerlebnis mit nostalgischem esprit: nicht nur in
dem track "told you can tell" klingt es so, als hätte sich harris
bei einem alten c64-racing-game bedient und dessen anarchische
motorengeräusche für einen netten hintergrund gesampelt. bei
part two desselben songs hingegen wird's still, ganz still, und erst
mit beginn der nächsten nummer wird man von dem schrecken
erlöst, der cd-player könnte schlapp gemacht haben.
alles in allem zeigt scorn wieder einmal, dass er sich auf einem bisher unberührten musikalischen territorium bewegt und sehr wohl weiß, wie man d'n'b mit einem schuss hiphop und triphop verfeinern kann. meisterhaft sphärische klänge, abseits jeden mainstreams resultieren aus seiner experimentierfreude, die jedoch teilweise ein wenig toleranz seitens der hörer erfordern. (inga stumpf)
mick harris (quoit, painkiller, lull, napalm death, etc.) is behind the deep, pulsating bass and killer ambient-dub music of scorn's latest release, greetings from birmingham. mick harris showcases a mastery of percussion on this album as he jumps from one break to the next and intertwines various percussions into a tranquil flow. while a lot of the tracks remain similar throughout, the constant groove and mystery of each track holds you in a calm trance. i think this is how harris intended the album to be, not as individual tracks, but one long, flowing masterpiece. building on enough bass to make your windows shake, harris fuses electronic creepiness, minimal ambient dub and a surprisingly fresh arsenal of hip-hop drum beats and rhythms. no track really stands out from the rest, but all are continuously entertaining. recommended to those looking for something a little more calm and relaxing. (gunhed)
guts of darkness
le nouvel album de scorn est de loin le meilleur matériel fourni depuis quelques années par l'ex-napalm death. bien sûr, mick harris a mûri et on sent à travers ce "greetings from birmingham" une envie d'explorer de nouveaux mondes. paradoxal avec un tel titre, cet album fait voyager mais aussi beaucoup réfléchir sur l'univers urbain, ces pièges, sa beauté et sa froideur. a travers 13 titres d'une noiceur très pesante, l'auditeur avance lentement pour s'échouer dans l'océan de rythmes cassants et hypnothiques. mick harris retranscrit son univers avec une précision et une sobriété qui confirment son immense talent dans la musique minimaliste et intime. dansant, cet album l'est aussi mais son abus vous conduira dans un bad trip musical qui ne vous laissera pas indemne. (jl)
siempre es interesante volver la vista unos cuantos años atrás y rescatar algún disco que merece la pena devolver a la actualidad. en este caso me voy a ocupar de scorn. mick harris junto a algunos miembros de su vieja y clásica banda napalm death nos introduce en un sonido industrial, denso y oscuro. bajos muy gordos, ritmos que se mueven entre el electro y un drum'n'bass bajado de pitch. electrónica gótica con una marcada personalidad. a mick harris le avala una amplia discografía y colaboraciones con músicos de la talla de bill laswell o el mismísimo john zorn en este caso como painkiller. excursiones en el free-jazz, el ambient y la electrónica más malvada. scorn inicia su actividad en 1991. su objetivo es una contundente e hipnótica declaración de principios. mick harris ha redefinido el mundo del ambient-dub con esa poderosa combinación de pesadas basslines y patrones rítmicos que van del rock al drum'n'bass. siempre a la vanguardia llevando al límite su amplio vocabulario y registro musical. la discografía de scorn es tan amplia como la del mismo mick harris. para quien quiera descubrir más sobre el mismo puede visitar su website mickharris en este comentario me voy a limitar a recomendar dos de sus más recientes albumes editados en cd por hymen records. "greetings from birmingham" publicado en el 2000 es un buen ejemplo de lo expuesto anteriormente. un trabajo que sin duda es una buena introducción al sonido de scorn. posiblemente hasta la fecha sea el álbum más amable en cuanto a escucha. los ritmos cercanos al hip hop se ahogan en una potente descarga de bajos y densas atmósferas. en el 2002 de nuevo hymen nos entrega "plan b" una nueva y esperada entrega que para los que ya estén introducidos en el sonido del grupo constituye un paso adelante en su particular universo sonoro. (alejandro vidal)
scorn discography. 09.00
vae solis. cd / 2lp. 1992. earache
lick forever dog. mcd / 12". 1992. earache
deliverance. cd / 12". 1992. earache
colossus. cd / lp. 1993. earache
white irises blind. mcd / 10". 1993. earache
lament. 7" vinyl. 1993. dying earth europe / aquese
evanescence. cd / 2lp. 1994. earache
silver rain fell. 12". 1994. earache. (incl. meat beat manifesto rmx)
ellipsis. cd / 5x12 box 1995. earache. rmx-album w/ meat beat manifesto,
coil, autechre, bill laswell, scanner, p.c.m
gyral. cd / 2x12". 1995. earache
logghi barogghi. cd 1996. earache
zander. 2x12". cd 1996. invisible
whine. cd / 2x12". 1997. invisible. live-album.
anamnesis. cd. 1999. invisible. the john peel session + var. compilations tracks
imaginaria award. mcd / 12". 2000. hymen
greetings from birmingham. cd / 2x12" incl. rmx by surgeon & xingu hill. 2000. hymen
¥025 scorn . imaginaria award . 12" . 33rpm . june 2000.
... no joke movement