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CD Feature/ Scorn: "Stealth"

img  Tobias
It is way past midnight on a pitch-black night. Mick Harris of Scorn is twisting and turning in his bed, drenching his sheets in a cocktail of sweat and blood. Fever visions are haunting his nightmare, dangerous delusions are cristalising into a single, screaming and sonambul question: Bass, how low can you go?

On “Stealth”, the answer to that question lies somewhere between the shifting plates at the bottom of the deepest oceans and the earth’s core. Released mid-December, this gruesomely uncompromising machinery closes out the year 2007 with an inverted big bang: The entire world is compressed into sludgy streams of volcanic lava, undulating through a bed of slow mechanical clockworks ticking in monolithic rhythms of relentless precision. Kick drums are billowed by inhuman degrees of distortion, snare drums and hihats sharpened to flashing samurai swords and underneath their armour, wobbling bass lines send coded messages into the deep like a sonar scanning the Mariana Trench.

Quite obviously, this kind of absolute certainty about one’s means and goals does not come overnight. Mick Harris has already decidedly pushed the frontiers of music with the radical metal band Napalm Death (an acoustic force of nature whose sideprojects are turning increasingly seminal for the underground development of rock and electronica) and has been invited for a total of two sessions with legendary new music scout John Peel.

While the silence between his footsteps has grown of late, the prints have become bigger and bigger. “Stealth” will certainly need a couple of months before it is properly digested. Each of these eight tracks, all almost metronomically exact around the six minute mark, consists of the same combination of bass, drum and premonitious drones expanding in the background. But led by the next to inaudible manipulations of Mick Harris’ unfaltering hand, they all seem to penetrate a different nerve.

Most of all, they complement each other in a way which only becomes apparent to those daring enough to take the full ride. Even though the release of “Stealth” as a Double-12 inch Vinyl next to the regular CD indicates that each track constitutes a black hole galaxy of its own, it really works as a full-length album, sending listeners to a foreign place whose contours are growing frighteningly concrete with each new bass pounding. Don’t expect Mick Harris to catch a good night’s sleep soon.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Mick Harris/Scorn
Homepage: Ad Noiseam Records
Homepage: Jarring Effects Records

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