1/  Distal Sonority                            (Laswell,Harris)              35.08
  2/  Capacious                                  (Laswell,Harris)              30.45

          Recorded at Wall of Silence, Birmingham, England, November 1994
          Additional recording and mixing at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York
          Engineer at Wall of Silence: Mick Harris
          Engineer at Greenpoint: Robert Musso
          Assistant at Greenpoint: Layng Martine
          Material Inc.: Tracy McKnight
          Subharmonic: Robert Soares
          Produced by Bill Laswell and Mick Harris
          Artwork for Bandcamp re-release by Yoko Yamabe @ Randesign
Bill Laswell: sounds; M.J. Harris: sounds.

          1995 - Sentrax (UK), SNTX 2080 (CD)
          1995 - Subharmonic (USA), SD 7012-2 (CD)
          2016 - Bill Laswell Bandcamp (digital)


I dread to think of the nightmares this may induce if it does actually get you off to sleep. Two long droning tracks, each over half an hour, filled with deeply harsh uneasy sound. The first, "Distal Sonority" is particularly worrisome as grumbling tones wind, coiling around the throat. By the time the second, "Capacious" is reached you're gasping for air. There's not much respite here either as percussion rattles in the vocal darkness. Horribly good! "Somnific Flux" is probably about as grim a sound-piece as you'll unpleasantly hear, so don't be fooled by the title!

Review from MFTEQ #12


It seems here that MICK HARRIS didn't quite get his fill of dark atmospheres working solely out of the mist of LULL. It also appears that BILL LASWELL has been staying up longer and longer these days just trying to get all of his projects completed. When sleep deprivation hits BILL, I assume "Somnific Flux" is the product. This disk is split between two very long pieces of pure dark atmospheric hell. The first track "Distal Sonority" is downright menacing. No yelling, no screaming, no blasts of bombast, just a giant wave of bleak isolationism that consumes the entire mainframe of thought and emotion. It moves along in it's own subliminal sort of way. Fans of the SENTRAX and MANIFOLD sounds will highly appreciate this offering as it exposes many of the same details behind minimalist composition style. The second track, "Capacious", has a bit more structure to it but still holds the same identity as the first. Listening to "Somnific Flux" is the audio equivalent to having your head shoved below the surface of the sea for hours on end with just enough air supplied to keep you alive. After a while, you begin seeing images from within the blue and can hear nothing but the motion of the deep and your own breathing. Sounds from above water trickle down to you like the compressed filter of a soundproofed room. It's absolutely astonishing how true to life this really is. All I can say is buy this, just buy it.



"Somnific Flux" works best when it doesn't sound like organised music, more an exploratory foray to capture alien found sounds, or wrench out deeply-rooted sonic archetypes. It's two half-hour tracks eddy like water currents around submarine rocks, with sporadic illuminations that hint at obscure depths. It's essentially an extrapolation of the outer-limits territory that MJ (née MICK) HARRIS explores with his LULL project, overlapping with LASWELL's penchant for atomised mixes on the AXIOM Dub albums and on his remix of HARRIS's SCORN on the "Ellipsis" album.There's a feeling of constant movement; sonic loops arc around with such long periodicity it's always surprising when they return. And the muted background pulses always sound like they're poised for movement - albeit mollusc-like - into a different frame. Taken literally, this isn't 'somnific' at all. Instead, the multidimensional textural planes rub over each other in an unquiet way, that leads into a state of hypnogogic unease.

Mike Barnes from THE WIRE 143