The sound of BITTER HARVEST keeps changing, and this album is a rare glimpse into the dub music coming from the home studio of Scott Righteous, deep in the heart of Toronto’s Parkdale.
Bitter Harvest has usually been the work of one person, Scott Righteous. But the band name dates back to 1987 when he and another musical cohort Jody Cairns began experimenting with industrial music. Early cassette recordings received some college radio play, but nothing from this period was widely distributed.
The new Bitter Harvest album, Live From Parkdale, was taken from rehearsals for a Paper+Sound show in September of 2011. The music is a live improv done in the studio, with no overdubs. But this is not a live album recreating previously recorded studio tracks, as there were no previous versions of this material, these songs were sparsely written with the specific goal of improvising more content on top during performance.
With each performance of this material, stuff that worked was kept and repeated at other shows, while many elements existed only in the moment. The original intent was that through performance the songs would naturally take form and studio versions would come after that process. But Bitter Harvest moved on to other ideas, other songs and no studio versions are likely to be created.
Scott Righteous is first and foremost a drummer, although he considers himself to be a songwriter first and everything else second. His early musical history indicates that he has been in a variety of Punk and Industrial bands, as a ‘drummer’.
Here is a quick look at some of the better known projects Scott Righteous has been involved in over the years:
In the late 80’s up until the late 90’s he played drums in the noise terrorist band PHYCUS. Phycus was on the cutting edge of fusing elements of noise, Neoism, chaos theory and raw meat into a unique ‘musical’ experience.
In the early 90’s Scott Righteous (briefly) played drums for the father of Neoism: MONTY CANTSIN, aka Istvan Kantor, notorious for his recent Jeff Koons blood splatters.
In the mid 90’s Scott played drums in the Toronto based DEVOURED, a funk/techno/lounge/dub/-pop band fronted by Dave Howard of the DAVE HOWARD SINGERS fame. In hindsight Devoured may have been one of the first in a wave of bands later to be dubbed ‘Trip-Hop’.
While playing in bands, he was always recording his own music which generally fell into the territory of industrial music. This sometimes took the form of experimental noise, but also included more accessible aggressive industrial pop.
Watch the glitchy video for Bitter Harvest’s Walking Dub here.
Live From Parkdale consists of five deep dubs. Brilliant production, amalgamating hand drumming and electronics, seamlessly. More information at bitterharvest.ca