Bruce Sonder Somatic Hessle Audio
After EPs for the likes of Hessle Audio and Timedance, Bristol’s Bruce – real name Larry McCarthy – delivers a sophisticated debut album. His imagination has surely been fed by the work of the Hessle founders, so it seems like Sonder Somatic’s futurist groove and subtle intensity was destined to be released by them.
The opening synths of Elo slither into staccato bass-bounce house and a weird, wired voice greets you, which somehow evokes the dissociative absurdism of Beckett’s theatre. Deeper within, we float around the ancient futures of Detroit, the influence of Carl Craig’s gleaming ambience blending into Drexciyan murk. For its most rambunctious techno moment, What, a computer-crash voice stutters and cries, ramping up an intensity reminiscent of Aphex Twin’s Come to Daddy, flying off the hinges into a tumbling K-hole of shock.
McCarthy’s fascination with textural strangeness re-energises old ideas, creating both challenge and rapture. Sonder Somatic is an album alive beyond the grid, with a wild slither behind the kick drum and electricity crackling at the edges.