Steve Hauschildt composes lush, evocative electronic music ranging from rich, melodic ambient pieces to more propulsive tracks influenced by synth pop and ambient techno.
Initially known as one third of the acclaimed ambient trio Emeralds, Hauschildt has since established a notable solo career. Although he first began releasing solo material in 2007, his first proper solo album was 2011's Tragedy & Geometry, which expanded on the more cosmic elements of the Emeralds sound. Subsequent solo efforts incorporated new wave-influenced melodies (2012's Sequitur) and airy techno beats (2018's Dissolvi).
Formed in 2006, Emeralds (which consisted of Hauschildt along with guitarist Mark McGuire and fellow synthesizer guru John Elliott) were often associated with the American noise/avant-garde underground, but their music largely eschewed abrasive sounds. Instead, they crafted immersive, adventurous soundscapes highly reminiscent of Berlin School/kosmische artists such as Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. Hauschildt created a label called Gneiss Things in 2007, releasing music by Emeralds as well as his own solo works and releases by friends such as Oneohtrix Point Never, Sam Goldberg, and Pulse Emitter. Hauschildt put out a few more limited cassettes and CD-Rs on labels such as Arbor and Deception Island, but unlike his bandmates, he didn't have an exhausting array of side projects and collaborations outside of Emeralds. The trio released several well-regarded albums, particularly 2009's What Happened (released by No Fun Productions) and 2010's Does It Look Like I'm Here? (on Editions Mego), and gigged immensely, including performances opening for Throbbing Gristle and Caribou.
In 2011, Hauschildt signed to Kranky as a solo artist and released his debut album in November: the shimmering, majestic double-LP Tragedy & Geometry. This was followed in November of 2012 by Sequitur, a shorter album that featured an increased presence of drum machines and bright synth pop melodies; Emeralds' album Just to Feel Anything, released that same month, explored a similar direction. Emeralds disbanded in early 2013 after McGuire left the group. Hauschildt and Elliott initially announced plans to soldier on as a duo, but they subsequently decided to go their separate ways. Later in the year, Editions Mego released S/H, a lengthy double CD collecting music from Hauschildt's personal archives. The collection's first disc consisted entirely of previously unreleased material recorded from 2010-2012, while the second disc stretched as far back as 2005, including rare tracks previously issued only on limited cassettes and CD-Rs. In 2014, Hauschildt was invited to compile the first disc of Air Texture IV, a two-CD ambient compilation; he included selections by Heathered Pearls, Mirror to Mirror, Le Révélateur, and others as well as two of his own new pieces.
Hauschildt returned to Kranky in 2015 with Where All Is Fled, another expansive double LP of sparkling, arpeggio-heavy ambient pieces in line with his debut album but adding some new elements, such as the atmospheric techno beats on the track "Aequus." A year later, Kranky released Hauschildt's fourth solo album, the intricate yet free-flowing Strands. Following a relocation to Chicago, Hauschildt recorded Dissolvi, a more techno-influenced album that included guest vocals from Julianna Barwick and Gabi. It arrived on Ghostly International in 2018. A year later, the label released Nonlin, a looser, freer album developed while Hauschildt was on tour. ~ Paul Simpson, Rovi