On Tragedy & Geometry, Steve Hauschildt, one-third of Cleveland’s neo-kosmische revivalists Emeralds, crafts an hour’s worth of instrumental synthesizer vignettes. His pieces tend to evoke thoughts of bygone eras of technological pop culture — many of these tracks could be placed seamlessly into Blade Runner, or into some lost Playstation-era (you know, when Final Fantasy VII was cutting edge) videogame. Hauschildt doesn’t craft wholly formed songs so much as he works with detached, technologically inclined moments. Album highlight “Batteries May Drain” is more immediate and gripping than anything else on Tragedy, mostly due to its motorik pulse. The rest of the album is pure synthesizer, with any sense of “rhythm” being largely incidental (the side-effect of Hauschildt’s arpeggiated synth notes). For an hour-long album, much of the material strikes me as just being there, fading in and out without coming off as more than inconsequential. Still, synthesizer/progressive electronic enthusiasts should find a lot to love here.
Recorded 2009-2011 in Cleveland, Ohio.