Haptic, Interbellum, Cristal | Gene Siskel Film Center | Experimental | Chicago Reader

Haptic, Interbellum, Cristal Recommended All Ages Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Thu., Feb. 5, 6 p.m. 2009

Drone is the word when it comes to the local trio of Adam Sonderberg, Steven Hess, and Joseph Clayton Mills, but while there’s no disputing the central role it plays in their music, it’s only part of the story: embedded in the ominous crawl of low-end that characterizes much of Haptic's output is a constantly morphing stratum of slippery texture and movement. In performance the three often huddle like mad scientists around a table strewn with unmarked electronic gear, and it’s difficult to pinpoint the source of that subdued clatter, undulating feedback, or hydroplaning shimmer. But it’s far more rewarding anyway to focus on how that action folds back into the whole. The trio is celebrating the February 16 release of its first album, The Medium (FSS); the first 100 LP copies include a DVD of a 2007 collaboration with video artist Lisa Slodki, who manipulates found film footage in real time. She’ll join the group tonight in an FSS showcase that’s part of an experimental film series called Conversations at the Edge. Also on the bill: Interbellum (aka engineer Brendan Burke) with multimedia artist Annie Feldmeier Adams and a screening of a short video by Clayton Flynn with music by the Virginia trio Cristal, which includes Labradford’s Bobby Donne. —Peter Margasak

Price: $9

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