Boomkat Product Review:
Janus-faced Mick Harris gear, shelling no fewer than 72 cuts of quarrying bass and lurching breaks roughly hewn between recording sessions 20 years apart.
Dished up by Mønic’s Osiris Music UK, ‘Headnod Sessions II’ deepens the labels links with Brummie industrial musicks after successive turns by Regis’ CUB and Mick Harris’ mutant broken techno as Fret. The 70 track, near 5 hour session also firmly resonates with the label’s roots in D&B and dark dubstep, showcasing the way Mick “Mongoose” Harris has long paralleled those styles from his West Midlands UK perspective. Frankly you can do one if you think we’re going thru the whole lot, but we can confirm the levels are expectedly dank and unremitting in their scoop-worrying levels of subbass and the grungiest sawn-off hip hop breaks soused in Harris’ special brand of queasy ambience.
The first 25 were recorded & mixed in the Black box, 1999 and originally issued across 4 x 12”s and a CD for Montréal’s Hed Nod label. They are very much symptomatic of that era and its abstracted, concentrated takes on prevailing US hip hop and illbient styles, reinforced with overproof UK-ready levels of subbass belligerence, and paralleling action by The Bug over here, and even Kareem’s killer Ramadan works. Harris’ further 47 cuts check in to his studio, the Old Lad’s Room, in 2021/22 for a timely update from the bassbin bezzerker. The production here feels more deeply spatialized, with Harris fine tuning his tekkerz to ruggedly absorbing and cranky degrees between the ruinous crunch of ‘Point 35’, the scorched low end of ‘A Brushing’, and, darewesay, almost jiggier NYC hip hop styles on ‘Closed Approach’ and elsewhere that firmly recall DJ Scud & I-Sound’s Wasteland.