Scorn Greetings From Birmingham
Grade C+
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Bill Laswell
Trace Decay

Greetings From Birmingham is the second release from Scorn on the Hymen label. Much like the first EP, Imaginara Award, this album features heavy-ended electronic bass and programmed drum beats layers with synthesized electronic sounds.

The album really comes across as a display of drum beat and tone. Tracks like Told You Can Tell, Flap and Closedown all exhibit firm, steady beats with background tone added for depth. While there is enough variety in beat the overall constant sound doesn't seem to vary much.

Unfortunately, this album is not for the casual listener. Unless you know what your getting into, Greetings From Birmingham will come across as odd and confusing. Certain tracks have odd timing and the drums may seem spasmatic to the average listener. Being a fan of Scorn, Mick Harris or Bill Laswell might better prepare you for a listen to this album.

While the obvious growth and change may be nice for the die-hard ambient/dub/drum and bass fans, the lack of more "organic" sounds and the stripping down to a minimalist layering of music may be what's holding this album back. Of course, if minimalist soundscapes layered with steady drumbeats is what you like, then give this album a try.

- - Vane

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