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025 scorn . imaginaria award . 12" . 33rpm . june 2000.


out of the picture
as if
as if part 2


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click for download . zip . 473kb

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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. 'imaginaria award' - a monolith among modern beats and drums.


dj quesako (ascolta - strasbourg). www.b-product.com/speaklouder/disc.phtml
mick harris (alias scorn), pour sa première apparition sur ce label, nous livre un excellent dub avec des sons breakbeats et des atmosphères lugubres du plus bel effet. encore un numéro de la collection hymen à se procurer de toute urgence

seven. www.nezzwerk.com/seven
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 burmingham" 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. http://industrialradio.tsx.org
this former napalm death drummer now grooves with monochrome ambient and industrial dub. a far cry from the music of his history. mick has created his own unique blend of musical styles. dark and heavy industrial dub. the heavier fuzzier dub. at times this sounds a bit like download with a groove. mick harris combines dub-like beats with a heavy "fuzz" industrial sound and feel. even when he utilizing ambient blends and melodies he still maintains a heavy feel with the constructive use of "noise". this is the type of music you could listen to all day as it grabs and holds your attention yet blends into any background environment. it's the type of blended dub groove that gets under your skin, vibrates your bones and leaves you begging for more.

re:mote induction. www.remoteinduction.com
imaginaria award is a 5 track ep available on cd and vinyl from hymen by scorn, presented as a precursor to the following album greetings from birmingham. subtle at first imaginaria award starts with out of the picture, tapping beats and suggested swells - the whole swirling. before kicking in with solid beats and deep bass vibes - a mass forming in your ears. the scorn vibe established he plays with hesitant melody on the surface while keeping the beats constant and allowing the bass to come in and out. edges shift through the sound and it doesn't take much volume for this to challenge speakers. strings are discordant, contributing to the edge and backing up the threat. whine drones while clattered layers of percussion are dropped in - the sound suggesting the track title worried. this steps up to a more rapid piece - offering a more streamlined and harder sound. beats have force, and echo with a pattering lash. while bass is a thick wall that sits undaunted by the lines of other sounds that thread its immensity. groaning electronics come into the mix suggesting a wailing moment; while percussion gets more snappish. a bank of pin ball machines goes off - layering discord out of step. high string buzzes chatter through as if, liquid pulses and background plinks in a more teasing pattern. thick beat plays stop/start bringing focus. piano plays notes and the strings continue their interrupts. bass forms a ridge, almost in a fuzzy pulse formation there is something about this which suggests an inclement climate - a thick cloud with a spattering of rain - not something to be going out in. a shimmer offers a moment of clarity but clatter of beats increases the tappering downpour. as if forming a slow, steady rhythm piece. coming with a clearer and more open sound is as if (part 2) - echoing in its spatial awareness. flexing in a wet manner with the pulsing beats. the conclusion lock sees imaginaria award storm back into full on scorn territory. rapid hi hat tapping, thick bass wave backed by swirling moods. the swirling building to a sigh then breaking into melody. as it grows lock declares itself, making it the standout track on this release. it goes past the mellowness of vibe and creates a certain upbeat feeling, perhaps almost lush sound.

final man @ electroage. http://electroage.lowlife.com
released this summer as an introduction to the excellent new scorn's album greetings from birmingham, this 5 tracks ep is an essential companion, enhancing the sound of the album with the same atmospheric film-noir ambience. much more convulsive tracks like the opener out of the picture and the following worried moves with rough drums, mad-genius styled keyboards and spacey electronics for a much more intense experience than most of the tracks found on greetings from birmingham; while not decreasing it though. as if is pretty much calm and moves with a mid-hip-hop beat along some scattered piano parts and its second part is absolutely quiet with randomize sounds floating around the totally disassembled and overdubbed distant beat. lock returns with the loud bass this time with an almost funky sounding, groovy deep beats while keeping the essential sound of scorn's last incarnation. thick and languid, the new scorn's material is absolutely superb. though, it would have been great to get remixes by some of the hymen's artists (there is some on the vinyl version though), the imaginaria ward ep is, as already said, an essential companion to one of mick harris' best production ever.

wet-works electrozine. http://wetworks.cjb.net/
remember the 90's? maybe some of you were listening to jesus jones or technotronic. maybe some of you were listening to nine inch nails and marilyn manson. or maybe some of you were like me and managed to listen to all of these and still discover groups like scorn. though there were rumors and statements that mick harris' dark dub project was calling it quits after the invisible records dealings went sour, "imaginaria award" proves otherwise. the opening hi-hats and filtered rumbles of "out of the picture" are just precursors to the explosive beats and woofer-blasting sub-bass that make it fantastic. slow, dark, and dirty; it shows that scorn is still true to itself. the track ends as it began, though minus the hi-hats. the same style is present on "lock," with a distorted dub vibe and some odd drones and screeches. "worried" shows the hip-hop flavor that harris has embraced in much of his work, though he once again incorporates that signature sub-bass and spooky mutated samples. i would be terrified to hear ol' dirty bastard or dmx try to rhyme over something this serie. "as if" represents a slight break with the old scorn sound. starting off as eclectic as a coil track, it turns laid back and groovy while incorporated some indecipherable noises and loops. a sparse piano part is part of the mix as well, making any fan nostalgic for the "gyral" days. "as if (part 2)" only continues in this vein, though the song is filtered beyond recognition. needless to say, this is highly recommended to all scorn fans. for mick harris fans, this album sounds more like his work as the weakener than anything else, except more aggressive. additionally, fans of the hymen label will be pleasantly surprised by this accessible release from a label notorious for the extreme beat experiments of somatic responses, beefcake, and xingu hill. much respect needs to be given to scorn, since this project has an undeniable, though subtle, influence on power noise


scorn discography. 06.00
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

mick harris


finally a quick note from the editor: scorn full length album to be released in autumn.
... no joke movement


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click for download . zip . 473kb


mick harris