Midfield General In-depth Biography
Not just another big beat act invading the LP realm a couple of years too late, Midfield General is the recording alias of Skint label boss Damian Harris. A prime architect of the sound of big beat, Harris grew up listening first to punk, then hip-hop, and finally acid house. He then moved to Brighton to study art, eventually taking work as a DJ while promoting clubs around the city. In 1994, his music knowledge landed him a job at Loaded Records, where former Housemartins member Norman Cook -- a friend of Harris' since his days working at the Rounder store in Brighton -- recorded as Pizzaman.
Harris and Cook's mutual vision brought about Cook's first single as Fatboy Slim, "Santa Cruz." After releases by Arthur and Hip Optimist (aka Andy Barlow, later of Lamb), Harris debuted his own Midfield General project in 1994 with "Worlds/Bung." Skint finally went overground with Cook's "Everybody Needs a 303." Almost overnight, the label became famous around Great Britain as ground zero for the full-on collision between acid house mayhem, old school rap attitude, and hook-heavy sampladelic trip-hop that was later dubbed big beat, after the Skint club night, Big Beat Boutique, held at Brighton's Concorde. Releases by Req, Bentley Rhythm Ace, Hardknox, and Lo Fidelity Allstars cemented the catalog, and after Fatboy Slim's second album, You've Come a Long Way Baby, became an international phenomenon, Harris inaugurated a global deal with Sony. Taking the bulk of a year off from the office to concentrate on recording, he finally released his debut album, Generalisation, in 2000. Harris also mixed the third volume in Skint's On the Floor at the Boutique series and sought out additional studio work, even serving as executive producer for Justice's crossover single ""D.A.N.C.E." He then returned to his own work, releasing General Disarray in September 2008. ~ John Bush, Rovi