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Mick Harris (Scorn, Fret, Lull, Quoit, The Weakener, Napalm Death etc.) doesn’t get anywhere near as much credit as he deserves for his contributions to techno during the mid 90’s. That’s because none of the records he was making at the time (a whole bunch as Monrella on ZET as well as under numerous fictitious names on Sheep) had his name on them. I’m bald and grey enough to have copped his Monrella records from 1996 at the time and to have badly mixed them in bedrooms, garages and danced like a lunatic to them. My friends and I had no idea who was behind them - but it didn’t really matter back then. It was the music that mattered most in those days of dial-up internet. Back then there was a whole wave of records that were either poorly mastered or even not mastered at all. Berceuse Heroique has done a public service in getting the first two Monrella EPs remastered and giving Mick the credit he deserves.
I’ll always have a soft spot for this wave of mid 90’s techno - in many ways this was my punk rock. These tracks still kick hard - you can hear the Jeff Mills / Robert Hood influence - a sound that inspired a generation at the time. ‘Process 1’ could have easily fallen off the back of the Waveform Transmissions series and yet he still somehow managed to put his own spin on the relentless, heavy, repetitive monotone sound. ‘Report’ is like a swirling vortex of organs - a fairground ride through some dark backwoods. ‘Process 2’ is probably my fave of the bunch - a real sneaky groove with dubby stabs.
I think it's probably fair to say that these tracks are very much of a time, but that's certainly no bad thing in my book. The cuts are lean, functional and have a raw primal energy that is authentic - something a whole wave of producers these days spend a lot of time trying to emulate. This is the real deal. Takes me right back to my old techno mecha The Orbit this one does. Man, I could fucking weep.
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- Process & Report EP by Monrella (aka Mick Harris)
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