Boomkat Product Review:
The Medium marks the full-length debut by Chicago-based trio Haptic, a group headed by Steven Hess - best known for his work for Pan American and On (with Sylvain Chauveau). All three members of Haptic are well versed in the art of experimental improvisation (Hess and his collaborators Joseph Clayton Mills and Adam Sonderberg also combine as the Dropp Ensemble) and the resultant two-part album is a magnificent beast indeed, starting off with a profound and textured delve into the darkest recesses of realtime, organic drone. Rooting this music within the realms of jazz-derived free improv is an arresting line in percussion, taking in bristling beds of cymbal and rich, sonorous bell sounds. The second piece is rather more abstract, removing those sustained, tonal drifts in favour of more tactile timbres, drawing on filtered electroacoustic clanking and all manner of evocative textures. Although it's no breezy listen, the piece is remarkably immersive - fragments of dislocated field recordings and live processing fold you in, leaving you with an improv drone record that's a good deal more substantial than most.