Steve Hauschildt - Strands album review

Song cycle about creation and destruction myths from former Emeralds man

Cover art for Steve Hauschildt Strands

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Steve Hauschildt has said that this instrumental synth-based album is also about strands as malleable elements in structure, and about flow and rivers, notably the notoriously polluted Cuyahoga that flows through his home town of Cleveland. As with visual art, you should get most of the information you need from the work itself, but Hauschildt’s notes do help the listener get some conceptual traction on the record.

The title track is a head-clearer of sweet, billowing currents of sound, but on Same River Twice, closer listening reveals the full intricacy of the structures, with contrapuntal lines played on the sequencers, and hissings of white noise like half-discerned voices that coalesce into rhythms. While there’s a lightness about A False Seeming, there are darker layers within. Hauschildt has used found sounds in his compositions and it feels like there might be some secrets lurking within. In among all this rhythm and movement, the sparse landscape of Transience Of Earthly Joys sounds like the sort of territory Brian Eno was exploring in the late 70s, while Die In Fascination, with its upward arcing synths, is a suitably transcendental end to this inspiring set.

Mike Barnes is the author of Captain Beefheart - The Biography (Omnibus Press, 2011) and A New Day Yesterday: UK Progressive Rock & the 1970s (2020). He was a regular contributor to Select magazine and his work regularly appears in Prog, Mojo and Wire. He also plays the drums.