Satan’s Commute

Scorn Silver Rain Fell 01

I’m quite a fan of ambient music and I do own quite a bit of it by a plethora of artists.  It’s a funny genre you can play me one piece and it will fire my imagination and I can tell its great and then play me another and I will know it’s just garbage wallpaper; funny thing is I couldn’t tell you why, in the same way I could with a rock track.  Maybe it is the superpower I have been granted and I should have a job picking music for shops and train stations*.

Note Satan's disembodied eyes ...
Note Satan’s disembodied eyeballs …

Back in the day, 1994 that is, we all knew what ambient sounded like – twiddly skittering beats washed over with analogue synth patterns and a female vocalist mixed in over the top blithering on about clouds, kittens, knitting and/or sunsets; you know, tasteful.  Then my hip friend Matt told me about Scorn, they were ambient but they had been formed by two members of the speediest, most insane, hilarious and extreme band ever, Napalm Death.  The next time I blacked out and found myself in a cool hardcore record shop in Leeds** I had bought Silver Rain Fell on 12″.  First record I ever bought on Earache Records.  Not much info on the cover, a remix by Meat Beat Manifesto, hmm, not many clues about what I was going to get.

Scorn Silver Rain Fell 04

Which was basically the soundtrack to that nightmare you get where you fall over in the road and can’t stand up as the car hurtles towards you S_L_O_W_L_Y and people’s voices do that booming, unintelligible thing they do, or that dream where you’re running away from some nameless eldritch terror and your feet just start to sink into the pavement as you can feel its hot breath on your shoulder.  The beat is prominent, slow, insistent, synths are there adding the high-end and an intimidating man half chants, half sings something you know is important but you can only make out the words ‘silver rain fell’ in the most threatening manner possible^.  Some people called it dark ambient, or dark-hop, I suspect it’s what they play in lifts in Hades, or what Satan plays in his car on his drive into work every morning to help him get into character.

Scorn Silver Rain Fell 02

Now I don’t really know Meat Beat Manifesto, I sort of stopped at Ministry, Lard and Revolting Cocks in the industrial stakes.  I couldn’t for example spot the difference between Front 242, Pigface, Skinny Puppy, Knuckle Grater, Young Gods and Slash Acid^^.  However they take hold of ‘Silver Rain Fell’, make it even scarier with more voices at first and then add a really great almost funky synth/bass line, punch up the beats a lot and give us a stomping good time.  It is a really good remix and I don’t often get to say that.

This was a real treat of a 12″, unlike anything else I had at the time, or do still.  It was enough though, I didn’t need to go out and buy any more but I am really pleased that I own Silver Rain Fell; don’t listen to the (long-suffering) wife!

Dark, man, dark. Clouds over the moon a few nights ago.
Dark, man, dark. Clouds over the moon a few nights ago.

494 Down.

*not airports though, no-one wants music for them.

**used to be close to the station, can’t remember the name of it for the life of me.

^Mrs 1537 has just put her head around the door and said ‘what is this sh*t you’re listening to?!’

^^Especially since I just made two of them up.


12 thoughts on “Satan’s Commute

  1. I first read that as Beat Meat Manifesto and, well, that’s every 15 year old boy…

    Can’t help you much in this genre, sadly, but I did enjoy the write-up. As for long-suffering wives, I do believe our lovely wives should never ever meet up. Like, all of us, all our wives and fiancees and girlfriends. Never EVER let them be in the same place at the same time. I just can’t see it going well for us…

    1. ‘Fore-ordained’? we don’t get much talk that around these parts stranger. Now you be careful with your ‘Ambient proto-diety’ talk around old Zeke here, he don’t care for that kinda talkin’ none. Last fella come talkin’ up round here like that, done vanished over by Prior Determinism Creek way.

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