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722 scorn. plan b. cd. august2k2



black belt
table or charges
put your weight on it
sleep when home
the snow hill
way it is


sonic seducer

als ich kürzlich einen blick auf die scorn discographie geworfen hab, war ich doch ziemlich überrascht, wie umfangreich der backcatalog des mick harris projekts mittlerweile geworden ist. die frühwerke wie "vae solis" (bei denen damals noch michael bullen dabei war) sind längst in der tiefe des tonträgerregals versenkt, das all-time-überalbum "gyral" hat den verdienten platz in der ewigen bestenliste eingenommen, und trotzdem produziert harris munter weiter. und das nicht nur unter dem projektnamen scorn. je nach zählweise macht "plan b" dann nun das dutzend an scorn fulltime veröffentlichungen mehr oder weniger voll und pitcht ein weiteres mal harris vorstellungen von eigentlich gängigen beat mustern deutlich nach unten. will sagen: hip hop und drum'n bass rhythmen werden ein weiteres mal bis zum rande der verwertbarkeit abgebremst. den raum dazwischen, darüber und darunter füllt er mit allerlei schräg-schaurigen und sounds - selten passt die bezeichnung goth-hop so gut wie z.b. auf "dangler". daß stress mit den nachbarn bei angemessener wiedergabelautstärke obligatorisch ist, sollte scorn hörern bekannt sein. einsteiger erwähnen am besten vorab den erwerb neuer tieftöner. (sascha bertoncin)

phosphor magazine

scorn was founded by legendary mick harris in 1991 to create rhythmic, hypnotic drum and bass music. harris has explored previously uncharted musical territory and redefined the world of ambient dub by utilizing a throbbing low end, ethereal sounds and big beats. 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. 'plan b', the follow-up full-time release to 'greetings from birmingham', is a collection of industrial and dark slow rolling abstract beats with low end sub bass and occasional minimal grooves interwoven. the music is extreme and relaxing, almost hypnotizing at the same time. the frequencies go deep, almost destroying bass speakers. eleven tracks (ten on double 12 inch vinyl) that will be loved by fans of scorns' previous material and others still to discover this dark rollercoaster.

black #29

gestaltete sich die vorab-ep "governor" sehr minimal und trocken (der somatic responses-remix mal ausgenommen) bzw. blieb streng im konsens des slo-mo-scorn-konzeptes stecken, birgt das neue album von mick harris selbst für alte fans wie mich einige überraschungen! auf oben genannter ep waren neben zwei exklusiven tracks und dem ebenfalls schon angesprochenen remix, auch drei proben von "plan b" in kürzeren beat-mixen enthalten, welche doch recht lethargisch-langsam stampften. doch gerade bei den albumversionen dieser tracks machen sich jetzt die feinheiten der veränderung bemerkbar: hier ein auflockerndes sprachsample, da ein pianoloop und dort ein zischendes etwas. auch rollen die beats nicht mehr stoisch in eine richtung, sondern ändern diese mehrmals und verleihen "plan b" etwas schwankendes, bei dem besonders der stereoeffekt betont wurde. manche tracks sind für scorn-verhältnisse fast schon verschachtelt, doch meist gewinnt am ende der hypnotische hate dub die oberhand... und das ist auch gut so! (m.f.)


there's a degree of familiarity in scorn releases just like muslimgauze records. his music is all about variations of the same elements. heavy sub bass, big beats, minimalist soundscapes, slo-mo hip hop aesthetics and so on, but this time it is yet again a tad different. the amazing low end bass pumps over more organic sounds. a lot of piano tinkering is going on beyond the fuzzy drones and phat groove. the relaxed structures are given more space to breathe again if you compare it to the massive onslaught that the predecessor "greetings from birmingham" brought. the slowed-down drum'n'bass imported via his quoit moniker opens yet again another dynamic option to misuse sound hardware. the sound system that fully comprehends what is being done to it by scorn has yet to be invented. the first track says it all - "black belt." who is ever going to challenge the master? (till)


mag sein, dass sich die welt dreht, mag aber auch nicht sein. sicher ist und bleibt, dass der bass den magen durchdringt, die eingeweide zerwühlt und quirliges einerlei generiert. wer sich die türen der eigenen welt nicht öffnen lassen will, sollte von nun an den subwoofer meiden, die snare verdammen und dem repetitiven fern bleiben. scorn hat den "plan b" aufgelegt und handelt danach, düster und ohne rücksicht. mag sein, dass sich die welt dreht, mag sein, dass sie es nicht tut, der bass jedenfalls dreht dich und damit alles um dich herum in dieser welt. (carsten bäumer)

baked goods week 21/10/2002

birmingham's mick harris again, prolific isn't the word with this guy. plan b picks up and runs with it from where the shocking governor ep passed the ball. there's a coherence and clarity to these sessions which should please existing fans, but more importantly a shockout bass science and roughage beats extravaganza which will bust the heads of the unconverted. the low end theories advanced here put most random drum and bass productions to shame, the hip hop inflections sounding freshly programmed and vital. harris demonstrates that slowing the tempos makes for no lack of heaviness, if anything amplifying the weight of these already sizeable sound system testers. crushing album, be careful with those speaker cones!


scorn can be summed up in a phrase, "holy bass, dude". well, okay, that doesn't really do justice in any way. but i find that is what strikes me, with scorn there is always enough bass for lunch, dinner and to make breakfast the next day. the rhythms exist in a super-dub underworld, reaching far beyond accepted frequencies and examining the basement of our minds. at least that's the impression i get. scorn's incredible depth is intended to shake the cobwebs out of forgotten corners of our minds and induce a new view of ourselves, one in which we are reminded of the attachment to our bodies. the sub-frequencies rattle our bodies and the ambient sounds wash over us, kicking our very being into this sort of dark netherworld, where we are fully aware of our body shaking, while our minds are unleashed on the world attacking internal musing with extreme vengeance. perhaps plan b is intelligence for the body and the mind. as the keyboards float in post-worldly bliss, as my mind attempts to float off into the astral plane, the bass reminds my body to react and i become whole. however, the keyboards patterns are very minimal airy, and piano-like, while resting subtly above the bass and drum sounds; creating an emphasis and contrast for the deep noises of the bass reaching into the basement and the drum plodding along to augment the sub-bass and stimulate our very being. umm… well at least it's a well-executed musical experience anyway. (vizgig)


scorn has always been an enigma for me because of the fact that mick harris was the former drummer for napalm death. the "trend" of former grindcore musicians exploring electronics (solidified by the trinity of plotkin, broadrick and harris) has always been a subject of note, to the point where my initial interest in their projects was based on their connection to grindcore. the music that comprises "plan b" relies on three key elements that are present in all tracks. first, the overwhelming amount of bass that seems to have taken a page from dark detuned pulsewave subtractive synthesis of techstep drum n' bass. the difference between the basslines in the majority of techstep songs (i.e. anything by ed rush & optical) is that harris' basslines modulate and mutate throughout the song and throughout the disc. this adds to the level of fear, isolation and dread created, that have more than once been linked to the extreme amount of violence in the techstep drum n' bass scene. second is harris' drumming. just as pervasive as the bass, the drumming acts as a counter point to the bass to, dare i say, make the songs kinda funky. it had me bobbing my head as if i were listening to hip hop. the similarities between the drumming on "plan b" and classic ol' skool hip hop cannot be overlooked. the difference being, just as with the application of techstep basslines, harris is not concerned with filling dance floors. the drumming plays on your expectations and a lot of it seems to be almost unsequenced and almost done live. i've always felt that the drumming on all scorn discs seem out of place, and that it detracts from the overall aesthetic the songs are trying to convey. yet with this disc, the drumming and other elements are not as juxtaposed as other scorn releases. the piano and other melodies/ambient drones on "plan b" are so subtle that i didn't even notice their presence until the end of the disc. so, upon closer inspection, it was much to my surprise to hear the sounds of a saxophone on track 5.
because each song is so similar due to all songs being minor variations on the previous, i have viewed this release as one continuous piece of music to be listened to in its entirety. each song progresses from the last, adding another element making the entire disc climax rather than each song climaxing. it keeps with the overall theme of scorn juxtaposing contrasting elements, i.e. dark droning basslines with hip hop breakbeats. here the juxtaposition is between the massive amounts of repetition present throughout the disc and a more typical song structure of intro to climax. i have really enjoyed this release and have listened to it on numerous occasions since i purchasing it. though i don't know if the release will be as appealing to people who might find the combination of hip hop breaks and fear inducing basslines to be a little too much. the disc may be too funky for some, and not funky enough for others. so if you appreciate and enjoy a wide variety of music, i highly recommend this disc. (skeeter)


there is a vocal sample at the beginning of through "channel," one of the tracks on mick harris' latest scorn record, plan b. a voice rattles frantically in the foreground as miasmic beats surge in the distance: "i don't care what anyone thinks of me. i know what i am, i know who i am, and i know what i do. and i can assure you, whatever i do, i do it better than you do it. that i can assure you." the voice hesitates over the words, almost as if it isn't a human voice at all, but a mechanized speak-and-spell -- this is the box speaking. there is no harris, just the box. the box is the name of harris' studio, and there have been several iterations of the sonic chamber over the years. moved occasionally as the neighbors complain about the sub-sonic thunder which ultimately rattles their tchotchke off the shelves, the box has been continually refined, paralleling scorn's evolution from a loop-based creation into its current dark hop phase. riddled with lurching beat patterns which stop and start of their own accord, plan b is a collection of fierce bass blasters which enter a room like a herd of drunk elephants.
unlike quoit, harris' methamphedamine-driven drum 'n' bass project, the beats of scorn have always been caught in tar, struggling and straining with their weight. "table of charges" begins with a single snare shot, a time signature as played by a one-armed nearly catatonic drummer. an equally challenged piano player who has had nearly all of his fingers broken in a bar fight is using the remaining digits to tap out a sad little melody. what happens next is that they are caught up by the steamroller which crashes through the room, trapped under the carriage of the slowly moving machine, still trying to carve out their tiny duet -- drum kit and piano -- as the steamroller rumbles on, growling and thundering as it reduces everything else in its path to dust. this is what scorn is; this is what scorn does. the music is a vast juggernaut, slowing advancing on you. in "boss," there are all sorts of strange dials and valves and pistons which begin arcing electricity and spitting steam as the machine picks up speed. the music is all executed in accordance to some strange syncopation which must percolate through harris' bloodstream; it is not a pattern which you can easily hum along to, but when it hits you in the lower back, you can feel it move you. harris has been in the box so long that i don't think you can separate the man from the machinery any longer. scorn has always been the standard against which other dark hop acts have measured themselves. with plan b, mick harris once again moves the bar. (mark teppo)

mick harris è già da tempo un punto di riferimento sicuro sia per quanto riguarda l'emergere delle estetiche isolazioniste, sia nel confermarsi in sintonia con le ultime scene del post-rock. le sperimentazioni che vedono protagonista il fondatore degli scorn, ugualmente a suo agio fra collaborazioni di ogni tipo ed episodi in proprio, sempre ci riportano in territori musicali dove la pratica d'avanguardia è intrisa di contemporaneità, senza esser soggetta tuttavia a mediazioni alcune, ripiegando su esiti estremi eppur con senso etico se riferito questo alla natura indeterminata e volubile dei modelli artistico-musicali dei nostri giorni, senza facili concessioni, pericolosamente incline nell'attitudine al fascino di frontiera di generazioni passate. il piano b è un gioco secondario, da usare quando qualcosa non funziona negli schemi prefissati, gli elementi efficaci, il retroterra di conoscenze rimane comunque costante, suoni eterei, liquidi e dissonanti, ritmiche polimorfiche (che spesso cannibalizzano la giovane carne del drum'n'bass), bassi e battute di peso, groove minimali, tecnologia in ogni dove, nuovo canale percettivo di un mondo in perenne espansione. un percorso importante, quello di queste ricerche che continuano in ogni caso ad emozionarci. (aurelio cianciotta)


ob man den bandnamen scorn ernst nehmen muss und der wörtlich übersetzte hohn einen doppelsinn besitzt, kann man nur erraten. bei scorn handelt es sich auch nicht um eine band im üblichen sinne, ist doch mick harris ihr einziges mitglied und somit auch der kreative kopf und schöpfer hinter dem ganzen. mit "plan b" veröffentlicht scorn nun einen weiteren longplayer bei hymen records, den nachfolger zu "greetings from birmingham". scorn gilt als meister des ambient dub. ob dieses urteil rein subjektiv oder doch objektiv genannt werden kann, wird jeder für sich selbst herausfinden müssen. "plan b" kommt im gemächlichen tempo mit reichlich gesetzten beats daher, die durch wabernde töne, leichte klavierklänge und teils undefinierbare geräusche aufgelockert werden. die entstehenden drum'n bass-gebilde sind zwar nicht immer eingängig, erzeugen jedoch eine ihnen eigene spannung. bestes beispiel dafür ist "boss", dass durch seine düstere atmosphäre mit slow-tempo-breakbeat einem david-lynch-film entliehen sein könnte. beim genuss von "plan b" sollte man dem silberling seine volle aufmerksamkeit schenken, denn obwohl die scheibe recht betulich anmutet, steckt der teufel wie immer im detail. jeder song lässt neues entdecken und erzeugt eine individuelle stimmung, die nicht sofort augenscheinlich ist. ein weltuntergangssoundtrack, nur dass sich die erfüllung der apokalypse reichlich zeit lässt. aber wer hat es schon eilig? (veit)


ein ganzes album voller neuer scorn-tracks ist ja immer sowas wie eine aufgabe für die boxen. hier rockt er gleich von anfang an mit einer gewissen mosherattitude, die ihn einfach nicht verlassen will, wandelt die satte kopfnicker-energie aber gerne um in jazzige eskapaden, die sich um die knalligen beats und brüllend bösen basslines schleichen, als hätte er sich zum produzieren ein gaze-nachhemd angezogen. gespenstische, aber sehr coole cd mit o`connor und child als gästen. (thaddi)


created & mixed by mick harris in the box 4.5 2001
#5 create and mixed in the heath(k)b14 with a.child. 11/01
#10 created and mixed at the forge b62 with k.oconnor 11/01

more info at
038 scorn. plan b. 2x12" vinyl. august2k2