Steve Hauschildt shares ‘Ketracel’ from his new LP ‘Strands’ (28 October, Kranky)

October 22, 2016
Leigh Silverblatt

Leigh Silverblatt

   Kranky’s craftsman of electronic kosmische enchantment, and once a member of the seminal outfit Emeralds, Steve Hauschildt is on the cusp of releasing his new LP, entitled Strands, due October 28th. Ahead of street date, he’s released another track into the ether ‘Ketracel’ which you can experience at the link below.
  About the track Steve comments, “‘Ketracel’ makes use of multiple synth sequences, as well as valve distortion which function as a kind of patina over the track; it evokes some of the rusted-out, de-industrialized buildings that are a scenic backdrop in Cleveland.…The title is a reference to the sci-fi series Deep Space Nine. I recently watched all 173 episodes in succession and found there to be innumerable insights into the state of the human condition. In the show, ketracel-white was a fictional, addictive drug that was used to control and enslave a race of soldiers. I found parallels in that story arc to the real life, big pharmaceutical companies who have disseminated opiates to the population over the last couple of decades. It has culminated in many addictions that have parlayed into heroin/fentanyl use. The results of which is an epidemic that has caused an unprecedented amount of deaths this year in the Cleveland area (well over 500 and counting as of me writing this). So it’s a bleak allegory of my surroundings and a cautionary reflection of the harsh reality here.”
  Graceful compositions flow throughout Steve Hauschildt’s fourth release for kranky with the songs fluctuating from the serene calm of album opener ‘Horizon of Appearances’, to the searing grandeur of album closer ‘Die in Fascination’ and to the aforementioned pulsing hypnosis of ‘Ketracel’. Throughout, Steve remains restrained and in complete control of his sound, a true artisan in experimental electronica.
  Steve comments on the themes and thought behind Strands with the following…”Strands is a song cycle that is about cosmogony and creation/destruction myths. The title alludes to the structural constitution of ropes as I wanted to approach the compositions so that they consisted of strands and fibres which form a unified whole. This was so the songs could have the appearance of being either taut or slack without being fundamentally locked to a grid. So the sounds/tones have a certain malleability to them and sound like they’re bending through time. It’s also grittier and more distorted than my previous albums. I wanted to try and capture that moment in nature and society where life slowly re-emerges through desolation, so it has a layer of optimism looming underneath. The music represents this by seemingly decaying at times but then reforms and morphs in a fluid way back to its original state. I was also inspired by the movement of rivers, particularly their transformative aspect and how they’re in a state of flux and change, in particular the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland where I live, which notoriously caught on fire thirteen times because of industrial pollution in the 1960s and before. I was very interested in the dichotomy of oil and water and the resulting, unnatural symptoms of human industry. It’s a very personal record for me as it is a reflection of my hometown where I grew up and where it was mostly recorded.
1. Horizon of Appearances
2. Same River Twice
3. A False Seeming
5. Time We Have
7. Transience of Earthly Joys
8. Die in Fascination
Strands will be available on LP, CD and digital formats.
“Here, he’s matched his well-established talents as a composer of cosmic ambient with a new depth of artistic direction.” – RESIDENT ADVISOR 
“It demands attentive listening, only because it can so easily slip into the delirious wonders of foreign realms.” – SPIN
“His first solo album in three years is his most emotionally potent offering yet, taking the gentle ecstasy of previous records and drawing it into a deep, soul-cleansing reverie.” – PITCHFORK 

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