Midfield General is the DJ/Production alter-ego of Damian Harris. He released his debut album, Generalisation in 2000 and his second album General Disarray in 2008 a mere 8 years later.
Damian moved to Brighton in 1989 to do a Fine Art degree. Although enthusiastic at his coursework it was in Brighton’s nightclubs and record shops that he was learning the most. After being rejected by the conceptual art world, he started Skint Records as an offshoot of Loaded Records in 1994. Kicking off with Santa Cruz by Fatboy Slim, the label has gone on to release a broad spectrum of music including The Lo Fidelity Allstars, X-Press 2, Goose, Kidda, Alloy Mental, Dave Clarke, Freq Nasty, Alter Ego, Super_Collider, Lucky Jim, Tiga, and International Pony.
Damian's DJ career started at the seminal Whitstable Labour Club, and went on to the giddy heights of Canterbury Art College, The Coco Club at The Zap in Brighton, The Heavenly Social, Bugged Out, Reading, Glastonbury and various places around the world. In the summer of 2002 he toured Japan during the World Cup and then came back to open up the Big Beach Boutique where, as he likes to constantly remind his ‘underground’ friends, he played to 250,000 people on Brighton Beach. All of them there just to see him...
The first Midfield General artist release was in 1995; a double A-sided 12" Bung / Worlds which was a kinda electro, hip hop thing. For his second release he ‘invented’ Nu-Skool breaks with a track called Go Off. After tarting around remixing lots of indie bands, he finally released his first album Generalisation in June 2000. The critically acclaimed album was a wonderful mixture of styles, from sweet soul to banging techno but all with Damian’s distinct style. It featured collaborations with Linda Lewis on the track Reach Out and a track called Midfielding featuring a pre-Mighty Boosh Noel Fielding.
“As a solo producer I was always looking for vocal content to make tracks more interesting. I’d always really liked the idea of telling stories over my music. One night I saw a very early TV performance from Noel Fielding on Channel 4. He was telling these very funny surreal rambling stories and I thought he’d be perfect. So I tracked him down and he liked the idea, recorded some pieces for me and I put them over my music. I remember a lot of the reviews at the time didn’t quite get it but it became something of a cult track, people where making T-shirts with quotes from the song on them. All very bizarre.”In 2005, after 11 years running Brighton’s infamous Skint Records, Damian realised that he was much happier in the studio then behind a desk and decided to leave his full time role at the company in order to concentrate on making music again. Seeking inspiration, and in a bid to rejuvenate his passion for music, which, by his own admission had been slowly ground down by the music business, Damian moved to Paris as the year previously he had been over to license a record from Ed Banger Records (and fallen in love with the place), and he was kindly taken under their wing when he arrived. As part of the cultural exchange program he went out a lot, smoked fags and took looks lots of pictures. He taught them how to swear in English while they taught him how to chop up audio files properly.
The love-in extended to Damian remixing Krazy Baldheads’ track Crazy Moth3f2ck8z. He also took on the Executive Producer role for Justice’s single D.A.N.C.E. and in return Xavier De Rosnay helped produce Damian’s single Disco Sirens, while label head Pedro Winter popped in for brief vocal appearance on the new album’s Self Referencing Intro…
“When I was making my last album album, it was very tempting to try and make tracks influenced by the new music and current sounds that I find so inspiring. Every time I’d get blown away by a new Justice, Sebastian or Switch track I’d have a go at making something like that. But usually to no great success! And it made me realise that I shouldn’t neglect the characteristics that are.. well, me. Their influences are in there but I would like to think I kept my own identity.”