Steve Hauschildt Tragedy & Geometry

Steve Hauschildt Tragedy & Geometry
Since the release of Emeralds' 2010 breakthrough album, Does It Look Like I'm Here?, the trio's John Elliott and Mark McGuire have busied themselves with a ridiculous amount of solo releases. The group's Steve Hauschildt, on the other hand, fell off the map almost entirely, forcing fans to patiently wait while he put the finishing touches on his long-gestating Kranky debut. Luckily, Tragedy & Geometry proves the elusive member is a man of quality, not quantity. With 14 tracks of neo-kosmische synth progressions, Hauschildt lives up to his rep as the subtlest Emerald, sidestepping McGuire's heroics and Elliott's weird for something much more refined. In fact, Hauschildt's cosmic ambience comes with a very European touch, sounding much more elegant and urbane when compared to the work of his peers in the American electronic underground. This by no means makes Tragedy & Geometry a rigid listen, just that things unravel carefully, as the album eventually builds into one impressive and strikingly cohesive synth epic. In a way, it's a shame director Nicolas Winding Refn didn't simply use Tragedy & Geometry for his score to the much-heralded Drive, because this is some of the best retro-futurist night-driving music you'll hear this decade. (Kranky)