John Healy, as a solo artist, differentiates his work as pieces of live improvisation and “of the moment” reliant on a series of machines, modules, wires and knobs dictating the sounds and structures rather than a detailed piece that’d been composed on a computer.
The first sounds that burrowed their way into his subconscious were a wonderful blend of Motown, Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre that came from his parents. Then he got seriously into hip-hop and electro when it burst into the world in the early 80s, listening to acts like Public Enemy, Beastie Boys and Mantronix before delving into soul and funk.
By the early 90s he’d discovered techno, UK hardcore & d&b, which was another world of sound altogether, and started DJing in clubs and raves. But he quickly became bored of playing other peoples music and wanted to create something new and challenging himself after gaining inspiration from two major acts that stood out for him during this time, those being Autechre and Aphex Twin, finding them highly inspirational, thought provoking and stimulating whilst providing a unique kinetic sound.
Soon after he started producing on analog machinery with his brother Paul and the legendary duo Somatic Responses was born. Since their debut 1995 single, they amassed a huge back catalogue of the most ground breaking, constructed mayhem that exudes so much intelligence it’s quite literally bewildering, eventually launching their own net label ‘Photon Emissions’ in 2010.
After a lengthy spell using software to create music, 2013 saw John rediscover hardware synths, especially modular, which he found as addictive as they are expensive. This led to lots of hardware improvisation, which is a challenge, but was a welcome diversion from the computer screen.
This heralded the formation of their ‘Welsh Modular Alliance’ label, created solely for their modular synth work as well as collaborations with local artists. Along with the continuation of the digital output on these labels, firm plans are in motion for physical releases too.
John’s been very fortunate over the years in having played countless amazing venues alongside the most outstanding crews all over the world and to audiences who savour every second of the auditory experience that he brings.