You can’t fault perennial TMT favorites Emeralds for resting on their laurels. The Ohio psych/drone trio is nothing if not productive, with plenty of solo work from Mark McGuire and John Elliot since Does It Looks Like I’m Here? (TMT Review) came out, as well as an album due later this year.
Not to be left behind, Steve Hauschildt is looking to get back into the action with his second album on Kranky. Sequitur, the follow up to Tragedy & Geometry (TMT Review) is due November 12. Like its predecessor, Sequitur will feature more song-based music than what is generally featured on Emeralds albums, along with a slew of different instruments and sounds. Be on the lookout for vocoders, vintage synthesizers, as well as the kind of stuff you could probably find at your local Guitar Center. Check out samples here, and read Hauschildt’s lengthy description here:
This new album was recorded in both Vancouver and Cleveland. I used almost 20 different instruments, from every decade from the 60’s to the present, most of them synthesizers, drum machines and effects. This gives the album a much wider palette than my last, Tragedy & Geometry, and it also gives it a more classic/new sound, yet it is still a logical follow up to that LP. I also used some techniques in the studio where I controlled older instruments with the computer and this opened up new ways for me to explore their potential as well as their innate idiosyncrasies.
I was very interested in the artiﬁciality of vocal or choir-like sounds that emulate a person or group singing, and how this has evolved with the advancement of musical technology over the years. I also sang myself, and used a vocoder, not to sound robotic, but to remove the connotations of gender.
Those sounds are androgynous because they carry both masculine and feminine characteristics. I was inspired to carry this idea into music mainly because of the work of Camille Paglia and Donna Haraway. I feel that the album in a sense treads the imaginary boundary between Nature and Artiﬁce. It is postmodern, but not necessarily a post-Freudian statement on cyborg theory or feminism. Rather it is a musically mimetic domain where these ideas freely collide and coalesce.
By the time you finish reading this, there will probably be another Emeralds-related release announced, hopefully dealing with the the politics of cyborg theory in a post-Freudian world.
02. Accelerated Yearning
03. Constant Reminders
05. Mixed Messages
06. Vegas Mode
08. Steep Decline