Somatic Responses megapost

February 1, 2015 at 8:05 pm | Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment

Somatic Responses: Gamma Ray Bursts

Somatic Responses: Gamma Ray Bursts

Somatic Responses have been so prolific over the past 20 years that it’s easy to take their consistency for granted. Of course, they’ve also managed to stay under the radar, never quite gaining the accolades of Autechre, but racking up a discography of dozens of releases, all of which are worth your time. They’ve also long been advocates of free music, with several of their older releases still available for download on the long-since-updated, and their own Bandcamp page a treasure trove of over 2 dozen mostly-free releases, including some of their albums that were properly released on CD. (Be sure to check out the recently resurrected Component Recordings’ Bandcamp too, as it has tons of free downloads, including SR’s essential double CD Adverts.) In addition to the album Let’s All Disintegrate, the EP Android Affair, a live set recorded in Denmark, and a SR-curated multi-artist compilation called Photon Collisions, SR ended 2014 by posting three full-length albums to their Bandcamp. And by full-length I mean well over an hour, approaching 2 hours in 2 of the albums’ cases. Gamma Ray Bursts is the more IDM of the 3, with Artificial Intelligence-like melodies and electro beats, but a bit more ruffed-up and modernized. The choppy beats and lush melodies of tracks like “Diffusion Graffiti” sit alongside the harsh complex rhythmic patterns of “Fingablipin”, the scattered jungle breaks of “Somatic Circuits”, and the lazy acid of “Ima Jima Lazy Acid”.

Somatic Responses: Hard Landing

Somatic Responses: Hard Landing

Hard Landing is, appropriately enough, more hardcore, with more d’n’b and breakcore drum patterns, and more of a concentration of noisy elements. “Dennis Karate Floating Down The River Amman, Tied To Door” is SR at their breakcore-mentalest, with the outrageous smashed-up breaks spontaneously slowing and speeding in tempo and continuously being munched up and spit out.

Somatic Responses: Obscure The Future

Somatic Responses: Obscure The Future

Most surprising, however, is Obscure The Future, the duo’s ambient album. There’s still beats, but for the most part there’s much more space and bright melodic textures than on anything else the group has produced. Tracks like “Back Home” have cuddly new age melodies, but still retain some rumbling bass that you wouldn’t associate with that genre. The longer tracks in the album’s second half show some space exploration that the duo has simply never done before, and they do it astonishingly well. While it’s incredible that Aphex Twin has been offering up years’ worth of leftovers for free, Somatic Responses have been giving away main courses for years, and certainly deserve at least a bit of attention for it.


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  1. Thank you for your very kind words. Respect from SR

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