Boomkat Product Review:
After dropping one of 12th Isle’s most prized sides, cult ambient trio Pataphysical conjure richly imaginative solutions to metaphysical conundrums on a lush follow-up via Good Morning Tapes.
Pataphysical were prompted by the pandemic to pause in-person shows and focus on their studio archive, with ‘Hapticality’ reaping a gently febrile session from whimful sketches plotted out between 2013-2021. Like their much lauded ‘Periphera’ LP, Andrés Saenz De Sicilia, Camilo Tirado and Matt Linares hustle a dream sequence of FM synth fronds weft with field recordings and analogue textures that effortlessly wrap us up in their sound, calling to mind the post-new age ambient and jazz inflected interzones of CV & JAB as much as 0PN’s hypnagogic wooze or BoC’s pastoral vignettes.
Where the moniker Pataphysical could have bogged down other operators, the trio deftly work under that mantle with a mix of sublime, world building lushness and unanticipated turns that slowly bifurcate and reweave the listener’s lines of thought into theirs. With time slipping guile they lead from the contemplative oasis of ’Sonora’ to a perfectly unanticipated arrival of a Welsh narrator on the pitch-bent slosh of ‘Moonlit Picnic’, with the dematerialised dub of ‘Integument’ drifting into their most immersively descriptive sound design in the album’s title cut, and Gabriel Chips’ extended reed tekkers blossoming into Hassellian 4th world whorls on ‘Break Lament.’
Hard to deny that Pataphysical’s brand of sensory seduction is at its most intoxicating here, most subtly quilting a more grown-up alternative to the pillowy mass of modern ambient.