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Steve Hauschildt - Strands [Kranky - 2016]

This is the latest release by Steve Hauschildt for Kranky Records. Steve is something of a veteran of the electronic scene and has a wonderful pedigree, he is an ex-member of seminal electronic wizards Emeralds, and this is his fourth album for Kranky, and the follow up to 2015s “Where All is Fled”. Kranky describe Steve’s music as electronic kosmische enchantment, a term that both intrigues me and seems particularly appropriate.

Opening track “Horizon of Appearances” is the perfect way to kick things off, it is a beautiful, serene opener and one that invites you in to Steve’s world of cosmic ambience. Steve describes the album as a song cycle about cosmogony and creation/ destruction myths, this is something that is very evident from the first chord.

Second track “Same River Twice” retains the ambience however it is quite reminiscent of the Orb at their best. This is a lovely track full of spacey synth sounds and really wouldn’t sound out of place on “The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld”, or “U.F.Orb”. This is another beautiful track and it continues the flow of the album. Third track “A False Seeming” follows on sweetly. It is a relatively short but pretty slice of ambience that almost prepares you for the more upbeat “Ketracel”. Once again one is reminded of the Orb, but there is more to it than that, Hauschildt brings a lot of his own personality to the music and it always feels like he is in complete control.

“Time We Have” follows in much the same vein, equally strong and building on that sense of the cosmogony that Hauschildt talks about. Title track “Strands” follows and is another deeply affecting track, this really does feel like the perfect musical accompaniment to visual images of the cosmos. “Transience of Earthly Joys” and “Die in Fascination” close out the album in style.

Overall,  “Strands” is a beautiful and sumptuous musical experience. It’s like an ambient trip through the farther reaches of the galaxy. One that you will find yourself taking time and again

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Darren Charles
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