Somatic Responses – Interlinked [HC Records]

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Last November HC Records signed its sixth vinyl release with a great project that captivates with its history, its understanding of electronic music, its commitment to the analogue world, its legacy and its longevity. The Healy brothers are nearing three decades at the helm of Somatic Responses, with countless tracks, EPs and albums having been released since they started out in 1994. But more than their active years and their multiple works, the quality that best defines Somatic Responses is their creativity in developing complex structures and textures.

Interlinked is a work that meets all these conditions. We can observe their evolution and their fascination for chaotic rhythms and an exquisite sound treatment. The EP kicks off with Saint Armour, a track that gives us a preview of the rhythmic properties of the release, with a rough percussive part and an ideal level of saturation to match the spatiality of its melodies. The first bars of Snake predict that all, or practically all the sonic elements that appear, are going to form an active part of the rhythmic dynamics, as happens with each new ingredient that enters to form part of this piece, from the melodic part to the acid and electronic lines. Side A closes with the track of the same name, which in this case is a passage with unpredictable changes, with an extreme saturation that stands out from the rest and with an interlinked locution that warns about the sudden variations.

Aria is the opening track of the B-side, and here the brothers John and Paul mix sound qualities in very opposite directions, on the most extreme sides of the scale between rawness and beauty, the beauty of a captivating melody subjected to a warlike environment, with a challenging rhythmic structure. Heading South is the fifth and last cut of this EP, an unbeatable choice to act as an outro, even so, the placidity of the first half of the track, with a more docile cadence and a relaxing harmonic conjunction, is slightly altered from the second part with an arpeggio that gives it some more dynamism, but only in a few bars.

In addition to these 5 tracks, Somatic Responses give us 4 bonus tracks in digital format. Dolaucothiacid v2 is energetic, acidic and highly radioactive, with a tangled rhythmic system that is difficult to interpret. Automaton Reign is the Welsh pair’s first contribution to techno on this release, with a 4×4 metric and a fast cadence, showcasing their potent combination of acid lines, saturation and forcefulness. Persistent Illusions seems to settle into the syncopated metric of industrial techno, but its rhythmic organisation mutates with every beat, just as the track itself continually changes scenery. CELL (Loquelic Mix) definitively closes this release with a new exhibition of versatility on the part of the two brothers, to mix infinite forms of life in the same ecosystem and achieve a sufficiently anarchic balance.

Release date: November 20th, 2021.

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