M.J. Harris* & Bill Laswell ‎– Somnific Flux

Subharmonic ‎– SD 7012-2
CD, Album


1 Distal Sonority 35:10
2 Capacious 30:45

Companies, etc.



Total time: 65:56

Recorded at Wall of Silence, Birmingham, England, November 1994.
Additional recording and mixing at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Made in U.S.A.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Text): 0 26617 70122 2
  • Barcode (UPC): 026617701222
  • Matrix / Runout (variant 1): MISI SFLUX BAO2228-34
  • Matrix / Runout (variant 2): M1S4 SFLUX B502228-34
  • Mastering SID Code: L384
  • Mould SID Code (variant 1): IFPI6100
  • Mould SID Code (variant 2): none



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May 22, 2012
Two thirds of PAIN KILLER create a brace of minimal mood pieces, sparse & dark. Much along the lines of HARRIS's LULL project. The first piece, "Distal Sonority", wastes no time to fill the space in your room. Probably more akin to the second LULL album, it depends more on a shapeless drifting, floating sound than on any obvious structure. It's like opening a door onto another planet, moving from familiar 'Earth' logic to unexpected and unpredictably unknown measures in one step. The half-hidden shapes within the misty drift move quickly - unlike the graceful somnambulistic ghosts of HARRIS's solo work. An understated central loop lulls, reminding one of a much more passive take on the FRIPP / ENO experiments. But overall, despite the dread dark of the piece, it has a tranquility which lures you further and further into deep dreamscapes until you almost feel compelled to let go and fall into slumber, which is around the time at which it ends and the duo bring you "Capacious". Beginning harder, to pull you out of the soporific state you may have drifted into, it soon settles down into that dark world between reality and nightmare which worked so well for many of the "Murder Ballads" tracks - a place where unease and disquiet stalk the listener, with evil intent - a Dream State where all the denizens are Psycho Killers, and digging shallow pits at midnight is a national pastime. Sometimes it reminds me of the Cthulhu nightmares of CONTRASTATE, often of a darker take on CZUKAY / SYLVIAN's collaborations.

Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.