1/ Silver Rain Fell (Harris,Bullen) 8.34 (Meat Beat Manifesto Mix) 2/ Exodus (Harris,Bullen) 5.38 (Scorn Mix) 3/ Dreamspace (Harris,Bullen) 11.29 (Coil - "Shadow vs. Executioner" Mix) 4/ Night Ash Black (Harris,Bullen) 15.45 (Bill Laswell - "Slow Black Underground River" Mix) 5/ Night Tide (Harris,Bullen) 6.29 (Scanner - "Flaneur Electronique" Mix) 6/ Falling (Harris,Bullen) 10.17 (Autechre - "FR 13" Mix) 7/ The End (Harris,Bullen) 7.39 (P.C.M. - "Nightmare" Mix) 8/ Automata (Harris,Bullen) 6.51 (Germ Mix) 9/ Light Trap (Harris,Bullen) 6.06 (Scorn Mix) 10/ Dreamspace (Harris,Bullen) 5.08 (Coil-Unstable Sidereal Oneiroscopic Mix) Original tracks produced by Scorn Tracks 2 and 9 remixed by MJ Harris at Square Centre Studio, Nottingham, November 1994 1995 - Earache (UK), SCORN 1T (5X12") 1995 - Scorn Recordings/Earache (UK), SCORN CD1/MOSH 111 (CD) 1995 - Scorn Recordings/Earache (USA), SCORN CD 01/MOSH 111 (CD) 2009 - Earache (UK), MOSH 113 CDX (2CD)Note: Track 10 is only included on the boxed set version.
Ellipsis is not exactly what one would call a normal Scorn album. In fact, only two of the 10 tracks are by Scorn, and those two are remixes. You see, this is a various artists compilation, but every song is a remix of a previously released Scorn song. While this may sound unattractive to many, don't let this strange format scare you away - These songs are like gold. Every single song on here in as good or better than the original Scorn studio version. This album turned me on to many bands that I would have never heard of otherwise.
By Ellipsis' 1995 release date, there had already been a glut of poorly executed re-mix albums out on the market- some of them simply issued without comment on what made them so radically different from their original mixes. Among the cardinal sins of the remix album are taking a strong meditative piece and hijacking it with dance-ability (and vice versa), artists' original intent being traded off for an effects demonstration, and reducing a complex song to a single loop repeated ad nauseum.
Ellipsis is a rare gem in that it doesn't submit to any of these flaws. In fact, it could even be called a high watermark of what is possible with remix albums. Mick Harris - by then the sole Scorn operator - brings in friends like Scanner and Bill Laswell to build an amazing underground fortress of beats and deep, dark psychedelia. Each of the nine tracks has its own seperate identity, and yet the whole program (just under 80 minutes) is still cohesive. And while often touted as a companion album to Scorn's groundbreaking Evanescence, the two still remain different beasts entirely.
For one, Nik Bullen's vocals are only present on one track (Laswell's chthonic mix of "Night Ash Black".) The tracks here often clock in at epic lengths, ending up more like orchestral movements or shamanistic trance workouts than they were in their first incarnation. Coil's mix in particular features sublime strings, a collection of alien noises, and massive bass undercurrents, giving the song their trademark stamp of filmic sound. It's a difficult one to top, but Scanner comes close with his "Flaneur Electronique" mix of "Night Tide", augmenting eerie, warm drones with his much talked about method of listening in on uneasy phone conversations. Autechre also does an admirable job with "Falling", taking a simple beat circle and TR303 bass pulse and riding it until a blissful state of exhaustion is achieved. Mick Harris, in an attempt to break in the new incarnation of Scorn, also remixes some of the Evanescence material himself. The results are of course 'minimal' and 'isolationist', but in a much more sophisticated manner than people who would make claims to such things.
Overall, it's an overwhelming experience, and a defining record of "dark" beat music. Best of all it achieves this effect without posturing, and journeys into inner space while still retaining a street-wise, beat-wise sensibility. Also available as a vinyl box set (with another Coil remix) for the lucky few.
Tom K. Bailey
Wherein a lot of famous people (Bill Laswell, Autechre, Meat Beat Manifesto, Coil, Scanner) and some not so famous people (Germ, PCM) take turns remixing Scorn's Evanescence in order to produce the first of the classic Scorn trilogy (the others being Gyral and Logghi Barogghi which immediately followed this one). It's amazing. Jack Dangers of MBM drops easily the best track he has ever done (remix or otherwise) - so much funk that I have never met anyone who doesn't like it, but at the same time an incredibly cloying mix of atmospheric disturbances and pure menace... Laswell manages to not suck with a thundering, possibly too long bass heavy remix... PCM turn "The End" into quite possibly the best jungle track ever produced... Coil do their thing and they do it well; Autechre goes a bit atypical (possibly their least accessible track, full of little but mechanical polyrhythms) but still quite good... the Scorn remixes are nice as well... like I said, a classic.
A.P. (courtesy of the WPRB website)