The last decade or so has seen a new crop of ambient artists come to the fore. One of the most experimentally-minded of these is Steve Hauschildt, previously of the electronic outfit, Emeralds.
Since Emeralds disbanded in 2013, Hauschildt has released six studio albums – the first four on Chicago-based label Kranky, and the latest two on New York-based Ghostly International. Through the course of these releases, Hauschildt has crystallised a singular style, and become one of the most venerated artists working in ambient electronica.
The Ohio-born artist’s latest record, Nonlin, pairs gently oscillating synths with glitchy experimentation. An album of nine parts, it gets off to a floaty start with ‘Cloudloss’, in which Hauschildt imbues synthesised sounds with warm human emotion. The glitch starts to emerge in ‘Attractor B’, which isn’t too far removed from peak-era Aphex Twin. Things get wilder still on the Auchechian ‘Nonlin’, which you can listen to below.
Interspersing these IDM-gazing tracks are a number of pure-and-simple ambient gems. ‘The Nature Remaining’ and ‘Reverse Culture Music’ slosh and spiral beautifully, with just enough rhythmical and textural action to keep you locked in. That last track features strings by cellist Lia Kohl, which sink seamlessly into velvet-sounding synths. The fact that these distinctly human sounds don’t particularly stick out is a testament to the richness that Hauschildt draws out of his electronic equipment.
For fans of both IDM and ambient music, Steve Hauschild’s set at The Yard is high on our list of musical happenings in Manchester this March.