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Plan B

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Album Review

Over their extensive discography, Scorn have seized one goal and held fast to it — to explore the darkness within electronica. Their previous release, Greetings From Birmingham, saw the advent of a new drum-and-basics-sound-design that was the deepest shadow of mainstay drum'n'bass. Plan B is where the penny drops and Scorn reveal the sinister things that lurk in those shadows. Plan B is all the same method as Greetings From Birmingham, including the sharp selection of various drum voices that drive a viscous bass. However, any sense of exploratory center from Greetings From Birmingham is gone in Plan B. The opening track, "Black Belt," takes its time and could be mistaken except for more adventurous turns in the bass, pervasive layers of echoing chimes, and overall sense of stronger disquiet. From here things get stranger and darker as the basses begin to twist and shear, flows are interrupted by unexpected samples, more urgent drum patterns join the mix, and a general discomfort is felt throughout the release. "Boss" marks a turn to the sinister, starting with disjointed hi-hats, rumbles, and bass slices, but giving way to a titanic sawtooth bass that fills all corners of the aural space. There are lighter moments, too — "Dangler"'s loose and discordant piano keys, back seat bass, and distant echoing screeches provide trademark Scorn imbalance. Plan B marks a high point and renewed focus in Scorn's recent discography. Those nonplussed by a solid release in Greetings From Birmingham and missing the edge of earlier releases such as Evanescence may very well find an extra bit of emotional content, polish, or variety in Plan B.

Biography

Born: 1991

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Closely allied with post-industrial dub terrorists such as Bill Laswell, Techno Animal, James Plotkin, Robert Musso, and Anton Fier, Birmingham-based artist Mick Harris is something of a study in extremes. A drummer with noted death metal outfit Napalm Death through the group's late-'80s/early-'90s heyday, Harris began experimenting with monochrome ambient and dub styles toward the tail-end of his association with that group. Releasing material through Earache as Scorn (his ambient dub aegis) and...
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Plan B, Scorn
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