Scorn (band)

Last updated

Scorn
Origin Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Genres Electronic music, industrial hip hop, dub, dark ambient, illbient, experimental, industrial metal (Nic Bullen era)
Years active1991-1997, 2000-2011, 2019-present
Labels Resist/OHM Resistance, Vivo, Hymen, Ant-Zen, Invisible, KK, Possible, Earache, Combat Recordings
Associated acts Napalm Death
Members Mick Harris
Past members Nicholas Bullen

Scorn is an English electronic music project. The group was formed in the early 1990s as a side project of former Napalm Death members Mick Harris and Nic Bullen (the latter as one of the founding members of the band in 1991). Bullen left the group in 1995 and the project continued on until the end of 2011 as an essentially solo project for Harris.

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means, and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.

Napalm Death British grindcore band

Napalm Death are a British extreme metal band formed in Meriden, West Midlands, England, in 1981. While none of its original members remain in the group since December 1986, the lineup of vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway, bassist Shane Embury, guitarist Mitch Harris and drummer Danny Herrera has remained consistent of the band's career since 1992's Utopia Banished, although, from 1989 to 2004, Napalm Death were a five-piece band after they added Jesse Pintado as the replacement of one-time guitarist Bill Steer; following Pintado's departure, the band reverted to a four-piece rather than replace him.

Mick Harris commonly known and credited both as Mick Harris or occasionally M.J. Harris, is an English musician.

Contents

Since their early years, Scorn is often associated with industrial and experimental music, particularly with their early releases as a duo with much of their Earache Records-era output since 1991 until 1994. Since the departure of Bullen in 1995, much of the output has been minimalist beats with an emphasis on very deep bass lines, often resembling dub and trip hop in structure. The departure from their early sound eventually led to Harris parting ways with Earache after the Logghi Barogghi release, both sides apparently having been unhappy with how the project was being handled.

Industrial music is a genre of experimental music which draws on harsh, transgressive or provocative sounds and themes. AllMusic defines industrial music as the "most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music" that was "initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments and punk provocation". The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by members of Throbbing Gristle and Monte Cazazza. While the genre name originated with Throbbing Gristle's emergence in the United Kingdom, concentrations of artists and labels vital to the genre also emerged in America, namely in Chicago.

Earache Records is an independent record label, music publisher and management company founded by Digby Pearson, based in Nottingham, England with offices in London and New York. It helped to pioneer extreme metal by releasing early grindcore and death metal records between 1988 and 1994. The label roster has since diversified into more mainstream guitar music, working with bands such as Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, Blackberry Smoke and The White Buffalo. The company also hosted the 'Earache Express' stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2017 and will be hosting 'The Earache Factory' at Boomtown Fair 2018.

Dub is a genre of electronic music that grew out of reggae in the 1960s, and is commonly considered a subgenre, though it has developed to extend beyond the scope of reggae. The style consists predominantly of instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually through the removal of vocals, emphasis of the rhythm section, the application of studio effects such as echo and reverb, and the occasional dubbing of vocal or instrumental snippets from the original version or other works. It was an early form of popular electronic music.

History

Scorn was formed in 1991 in Birmingham, England by drummer Mick Harris and vocalist/bassist Nic Bullen, former members of English grindcore band Napalm Death. Another Napalm Death member, Justin Broadrick, appeared on their first LP, Vae Solis. With Bullen's departure in April 1995, Harris has been the only member of the project since then.

Birmingham City in the English Midlands, 2nd highest population of UK cities

Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, and the most populous city in the English Midlands. It is also the most populous metropolitan district in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 1,137,123 inhabitants, and is considered the social, cultural, financial, and commercial centre of the Midlands. It is the main local government of the West Midlands conurbation, which is the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,897,303 in 2017. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 4.3 million. It is frequently referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city".

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Grindcore is an extreme fusion genre of heavy metal and hardcore punk that originated in the mid-1980s, drawing inspiration from abrasive-sounding musical styles, such as: thrashcore, crust punk, hardcore punk, extreme metal, and industrial. Grindcore is characterized by a noise-filled sound that uses heavily distorted, down-tuned guitars, grinding overdriven bass, high speed tempo, blast beats, and vocals which consist of growls and high-pitched shrieks. Early groups like Napalm Death are credited with laying the groundwork for the style. It is most prevalent today in North America and Europe, with popular contributors such as Brutal Truth and Nasum. Lyrical themes range from a primary focus on social and political concerns, to gory subject matter and black humor.

Many fans were confused by the contrast between Napalm Death and Scorn, but Harris sees it as a natural progression for an artist with a restless creative drive. "For the ideas that I had, I needed to make that move. Some people think that it was a crazy move, just as grind was maybe starting to go places, do something, but I’ve always been an experimenter, still am; I’m someone who just loves sound. I still love sound and just want to keep pushing, pushing and pushing. I think everybody knows that’s the reason why I left Napalm Death." [1]

After leaving Earache Records, the project kept pushing the dirty bass and heavy beat sound, subtly changing with each release. In May 1997, Harris decided to end the project to finish relations with KK Records, [2] and from 1997 to 1999, he was making music with other names and other musicians, until 2000, when returned with this project with the record company Hymen Records, but eventually Harris parted ways with Hymen in 2002. The intervening years since saw a break in recorded output (except the release of a live radio jam on Vivo Records in 2004) with live dates popping up periodically.

Starting in 2006, Harris began stepping up activities as Scorn, starting with the 10" Whistle For It, which (apparently to Harris' dismay) was so poorly mastered as to have lost Scorn's trademark low end.

After a 5-year absence, November 2007 saw Scorn return to the studio properly with the long-awaited full-length entitled Stealth on Brooklyn-based Kurt Gluck/Submerged (DJ)'s Ohm Resistance label. In early 2008 Scorn released the first of two 12"s on Combat Records. The second release came out in 2009. Each 12" contains one new track and a remix by a Combat Recordings artist. Combat also released a 12" containing remixes of the aforementioned tracks by other artists. At the same time, Mick also recorded another new 12" for California-based Record Label Records, which was released in 2009 as limited edition of 300 copies on clear vinyl with handmade packaging.

Submerged is a Brooklyn-based DJ, bassist, founder of Ohm Resistance and co-founder of Obliterati, American avant garde drum and bass and experimental music labels, and a prolific multi-genre electronic music producer, first notable for his work with Grammy Award-winning bassist and producer Bill Laswell in creating drum and bass - jazz fusion projects including their band Method of Defiance, and The Blood of Heroes.

2010 saw another new full-length entitled "Refuse; Start Fires", again released on Ohm Resistance, where Mick seems to have found a home with a supportive label that is like-minded in terms of meeting Scorn's high standard for the sound of the finished product. This album also marked the first time since Bullen left the project that Mick has worked full-on with another musician (excluding the track Scorn did with David Knight on the "Rise|Converge" compilation), drummer Yan Treasey. On the heels of this full-length, Mick returned with the "Yozza" EP in 2011, again with Treasey.

On November 2011, Mick stated the Scorn project was "put to bed", while leaving open the possibility of more work under different names.

On January 17 2019 label Ohm Resistance announced that Scorn is back and will release an EP in spring 2019 - and a full-length album in fall 2019. [3] The EP with 4 new tracks, called "Feather" was released on June 7.

Discography

Albums

Compilation albums

Singles & EPs

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References

  1. http://decibelmagazine.com/blog/featured/interview-ex-napalm-death-drummer-mick-harris-on-scum-scorn-and-the-hell-of-urban-living
  2. "Interview with Mick Harris of Scorn - conducted by telephone - 11/12/97". Sonic-Boom.com. 1997-11-12. Retrieved 1997-11-12.Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. https://igloomag.com/newswire/scorn-returns-to-ohm-resistance