Steve Hauschildt | Dissolvi
Ghostly International (LP/CD/DL)
Steve Hauschildt, the former member of the now defunct Emeralds, returns with his sixth full-length and first on Ghostly in multi-formats. Dissolvi delves into new physically textured turf with funky ambient blooms that thump and burst throughout. In that light this record delivers on a newly found signature sound that is both a departure and a throwback to early 90’s rave culture. Mind you, this is not one of those records. Hauschildt sensitively blends the old and new school of prog rock with a progressive fusion of ambient and minimal techno unearthing a sweet, unusual hybrid. You just have to keep your ears open on the starter, M Path to get a portion of the picture he’s painting:
It’s a quasi augmented trance with an underbelly long lasting thanks to the likes of Tangerine Dream, Can and the countless Germans who contributed so much to instrumental music in the 1970’s. His synths are muted, smoothed over into Phantox which after a few minutes opens with bpms. The layering is masterful, and that under/over effect with the foggy beats and the crisper flash fired additional effects is a savvy counter-balance. Saccade then brings the setting down a few tonal ranges and introduces the illuminated shimmer of vocal talent of Julianna Barwick who is featured prominently. This is as if you updated a Dead Can Dance track with a glistening pastel sensibility, a stunning vocal delivery and added a beat to keep late night dwellers from dropping into oblivion.
There are intermediate sounds freckled throughout, but it gives the whole listen a ‘tweeness that counters our socially unbalanced world in its own way. I’m particularly drawn to the overlap inflections he’s created on Aroid, which could be the background music for a Netflix series based on future travel – or – it just has this sense of light emitting, and shifting at each tiny twist of the wrist. It doesn’t shift my footing or shake the ground I’m standing on – but it certainly sparkles, it does. And the black and white lines and halftone artwork of Robert Beatty definitely lends another layer to this poking-back-at retro feel as you listen.
There’s a standard contemporary techno track featuring GABI called Syncope and then we are into the weeds with Lyngr. Here Hauschildt’s sound pulses forward as he, whether aware or not, takes new age tropes, adds beats and distills the essence of both. It’s a rare collusion of sorts, one that should be noted for it’s lightness and smart mixing. The title track comes in at the end, and Dissolvi is composed, cool, and stabilizes beats with mood. This artist has something for taking polar audio worlds and collaging them with the complexities intact. This has all the flair of a nu-sci-fi soundtrack as it places all the variables in a float that shimmers through the backdrop, clashing, then swirling around the steady percussive crush. He manages to add crystalline waves of harmony, achieving this unique balance for deep and general listeners alike.