Somatic Responses ‎– Mercury

Acroplane Recordings ‎– ACP053
10 × File, MP3, 320 kbps


1 Dead Star 5:12
2 Cymrojunk 5:58
3 Mercury 5:08
4 Hatework 5:41
5 Shinjuku Walk 5:15
6 Quantum Religion 4:44
7 Subdared 6:07
8 Mutating Virus 3:56
9 Erratic 4:45
10 Ulrich Would Be Proud 6:48


  • Artwork By – Max McLaughlin


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August 21, 2010

Mere months ago, Somatic Responses impressed me with their Reformation record (available at the awesome Ad Noiseam), the title track of which was so thunderous and elastic, I could hardly keep my bearings about me. No sooner had I familiarized myself with the backstory of the duo, consisting of John and Paul Healy, when Acroplane announced a second new Somatic Responses album available for free right here. Now there’s a time to ponder and a time to act, and I wasted no time downloading Mercury; a record so fiendishly subterranean and claustrophobic, I required a solid month to simply absorb its shadows.

Like its inhospitable namesake, Mercury is an uncertain venture; its bass-stabs menacing and beat-programming often intimidating, as if you’ve awoken upon a nightmarishly bleak terrain. Furthering my intergalactic descriptors is first track ‘Dead Star’, a pulsating shuffle of deep bass and unsettled synths that establishes a sinister demeanor that runs throughout Mercury. Somatic Responses’ expertise in breakcore runs through tracks like ‘Hatework’ and the apt-titled ‘Erratic’ but this second release of 2009 holds greater ambition than polishing old trophies. As boldly announced on the stuttering ‘Shinjuku Walk’, Mercury is the duo’s first dedicated foray into dub-step; a murky, urban subgenre that fits Somatic Responses like London raindrops on the window of a late-night taxi. Of course, since this is dub-step flooded with dark ambience, the results are as danceable as they are unnerving. ‘Subdared’ sounds like an old FM dial-spin of half-heard drones and archaic beats while ‘Mutated Virus’ is a suitably mixed experiment of breakcore urges and dub-step flavour; each capable of filling the gaps of your own post-apocalyptic soundtrack.

In light of such urgent, progressive soundscapes, it’s thrilling to hear the Healy brothers close Mercury with the slowly unfurling ‘Ulrich Would Be Proud’. Centered around a solid breakbeat and armed with graceful swellings of synth, this closer is a dark yet soothing farewell to an album of intriguing hostilities (that at least one Ulrich – Ulrich Schnauss – would be proud of). As an introduction to Somatic Responses’ work, Mercury is a tall order indeed; an uncompromising and gloomy song-suite that burrows under your skin. Yet, as I plan to retreat into their back-catalogue, I can’t help but wonder if anything will rival this hard-earned collection. Consider this: if Mercury is being given away, imagine how good their retail-only albums likely are.


July 17, 2009

Release of free full-value album Mercury by veterans of musical scene Somatic Responses turned to be unexpected and unpredicted. It was released on Irish net label Acroplane Recordings. Net release consists of 10 impressive compositions opening new horizons and deepness in team's creativity, darkness hid deep into tracks-paws catching and drawing listeners. After abstract and rather odd release on Ad Noiseam this team successfully rehabilitated, they upgraded their mechanism and proceeded to build trajectories to new unknown territories. Experiments started on Reformation increase their circulation here, and not all listeners acquainted with their previous albums will like it. SR make a full transformation of their sounding deepening into dubstep context and having refused from rectilinear noise rhythm-n-noise.

Introductory composition "Dead Star" with slow metallic march starts its procession, perhaps this is the sounding of Dart Vader's steps - heavy, slow though purposeful and inevitable. Aggression hasn't left music, it just took new forms and delineation, not changing their inner content. It can be clearly heard in the following tracks, "Quantum Religion", "Subdared", "Mutating Virus". Severe main track "Mercury" obviously demonstrates appearance in music of the team with cosmic and fantastic three-dimensional sound. The album really sounds like an integral deadly soundtrack recorded on another planet and about another forms of life. It's clear that SR could record more releases in the style of Circumflex, Augmented Lines, Touching the Void, though it's rather obvious that for musicians themselves this process is not so much interesting - to proceed working in usual frames and their own standards. As infernal industrial artists they need new experiments to proceed their research work with secret horizon lines. The last composition of this release "Ulrich Would be Proud" is perhaps one of the kindest and most beautiful tracks in the team's history, very melodic and sincere theme, ideal ending for a cosmic travel. What is left is to listen to the album for several times again deepening into it more and more, Mercury is a very multilayer work to understand it after the first listening, thanks very much for that to the musicians and Acroplane Recordings.