Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

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Somatic Responses – Reformation (Ad Noiseam)

Posted: 17 Oct 2009 04:01 PM PDT

Somatic Responses

Welsh brothers John and Paul Healy have spent the last fifteen or so years honing their own distinctive fusion of hardcore electronic and noise elements, with a formidable backcatalogue that spans such labels as Sublight, Hymen and Zhark International. Three years on from 2006’s preceding ‘Giauzar’ album on the now defunct Sublight label, this latest album ‘Reformation’ marks significant change in the brothers’ overall sonic approach, with the eight tracks here veering closer to the sort of hard-edged mutant dubstep fashioned by the likes of Milanese and The Bug, rather than the breakcore-based noisescapes Somatic Responses have previously been more readily associated with.

A key case in point is the swaggering, steel-trap snare laced ‘Murder Thought’, which takes its cue from the harsh aesthetic laid down by the latter’s ‘London Zoo’, threading rapid-fire breakcore rhythms against vast reverbed-out crashes and writhing sub-bass, while the aptly-titled ‘Deadstep’ manages to retain the brothers’ signature sense of cinematic menace as delayed drums flutter like bats against a carpet of eerie, grinding electronics. Elsewhere, the harsh and serrated ‘Panic Attack’ sees raw swathes of evil synth bass noise and scattering breakcore rhythms battling for space with snatches of the classic "Stop the panic’" rave sample, before ‘Who’s Stopping Ya! Killer’ takes things out with sampled reggae vocal grabs being contorted to near breaking point over harsh, flickering beats and toxic bass pulse – indeed, it’s pretty much guaranteed that your head will be nicely scrambled by its end. In this instance, Somatic Responses’ incorporation of dark dubstep influences into their sonic approach has resulted in what’s easily their most accessible and human-sounding collection to date.

Chris Downton

Somatic Responses – Reformation (Ad Noiseam) is a post from: Cyclic Defrost Magazine.