Steve Hauschildt – Sequitur

Steve Hauschildt - Sequitur

Artist: Steve Hauschildt
Album: Sequitur
Label: Kranky
Rating: 8/10

Emeralds latest full length surprised with its inclusion of drum machines and generally more balls-out approach to immersion, but keyboardist Steve Hauschildt’s latest solo effort takes a more logical step in his trajectory of ambient bliss. There’s certainly a more niche kosmiche vintage audible in his synths this time, though; where records like Tragedy and Geometry insisted on an ultra-pure synth-only hypnogogia, the Silent Running-sounding flights of fancy of Sequitur are much more plastic-y and focused on late 70s/early 80s Equinox textures. And in it’s own, insular way, its actually relatively bold.

Sequitur launches with “Interconnected” and its lush, synth orbs that are built out of more recent electro/IDM textures, real smooth and familiar. The quiet Vangelis grandeur of the following track, “Accelerated Yearning” has a squelchy analog plod that comes in so bravenly retofuturistic that its quite a contrast. The particular synth tone exhibits a New Age-ness that in others hand could come off tacky, but Hauschildt renders these breathy, crystalline tones into an expansive and realized hybridized and pretty postmodern set of memories and new combinations.

Straight up ambient zoners like “Kept” drip with the dense, ahead-of-the-grain drone feelings that saw Emeralds and his other solo work to be so revered. Closing track “Steep Decline” is on the same path of sincere soundscape, providing the perfect, slightly contrasting cornerstone to the miniature bliss of “Mixed Messages” and it’s playful harpsichord preset bounce.

The following “Constant Reminders” comes off as almost part two to this, swirling into smooth, vocoder vocals that bring a synthetic divinity and other New Age Music signifiers like some light notions of the cyborg. Hauschildt messes a lot with preset voice tones on the myriad keyboards he employs. He made these recordings in both Vancouver and Cleveland, using over 20 different instruments “from the 1960s to present”, and it shows. It’s held up by the more “authentically” decades old sounding production, and serves as a sort of return to a set of sounds and signifiers previously disposed of. Hauschildt digs them up with typical fervour, making this his funnest and and most free outing to date.