Thursday, 24 June 2010

HAPTIC - Trebuchet

The operational area for Haptic – Steven Hess, Adam Sonderberg and Joseph Clayton Mills - is that of mesmeric elusiveness informed by a measure of physicality, causing a feel of anticipation for an event that might materially occur, but we'll never be able to realistically justify. There's no credible method to describe the acoustic phenomena that the trio engenders, if not by trusting adjectives that by now sound stereotyped, when not plain worn out: organic, tactile, laminal, throbbing. All hopeless attempts to seize what’s uncatchable.

Quite often, this sagaciously deployed mix of treated field recordings and unspecified instruments contains sounds that are more similar to the amplified version of certain indiscernible frequencies emitted by the insides of our ear than to the different external examples that one could muster. The layered clusters of harmonics - equally effective in an enticing segment like the introductive “Counterpoise” and in the development of the cryptic scenarios heard in “Three” - enrich sonic topographies mainly expressed through a low-definition mantric inertia, finding a reference point (admittedly vague) in artistic realities such as Andrew Chalk and Christoph Heemann's late Mirror. On the other hand, the third and longest chapter “Four” is constructed with mildly interfering matters, actual essences (am I hearing concealed firecrackers and bell towers in there, together with the helicopters?) and granular crunch submerged by subsonic tremors, at times calling to mind environments rendered well-known by Asher. Haptic do possess their own nature, though, which is beautiful to ascertain upon repeated spins.

Ultimately, the quality of Trebuchet is directly proportional to its capacity of "freezing" the listener and, along the process, making the brain work in a subliminal way. The awesome muted hums appear as a memento of the decaying aspects of intellect, finely contrasted by the purity of the screaming children appearing in the disc's very last seconds, as to represent the new beginning of a cycle that once was believed to be endless and instead is about to be broken by something ineluctable.