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Electronic/Dance - Released August 3, 2018 | Ghostly International

Steve Hauschildt's fifth solo album is his most collaborative work since the breakup of Emeralds, the heralded ambient trio he co-founded in 2006. Unlike his other solo works, Dissolvi was recorded in a proper studio, primarily in Hauschildt's new home city of Chicago. Rafael Anton Irisarri co-produced the album and provided instruments, effects, and programming on several tracks, and Taylor Deupree contributed a patch to one track. More noticeable to anyone who isn't reading the liner notes, this is the first time Hauschildt has worked with guest vocalists. The results are a far cry from his 2012's new wave diversion Sequitur, which included his own vocoderized singing. "Saccade" is a gorgeous downtempo ballad featuring airy incantations by Julianna Barwick over lightly trippy beats, and GABI sublimely floats over the gentle ambient techno of "Syncope." The album is by far the most techno-sounding record Hauschildt has created, expanding on previous dabblings such as "Aequus" from Where All Is Fled and the occasional IDM-ish moments on Strands. "Alienself" is a calm, slightly hazy current with a steady, focused beat, recalling the spirit of Selected Ambient Works 85-92 but not aping any of its techniques. "Aroid" is a bit more erratic, with scraping micro-beats that avoid sounding abrasive and leave room for the minimal but significant bass notes. "Lyngr" has an evenly paced 4/4 shuffle and seems straightforward on the surface, but there are many layers of lushly detailed intricacies underneath. The album's closing title track is its most playful, with a fuzzy "splat" sound to the beat and delicately twinkling synth textures, yet there's still an aura of solemn contemplation to the piece. Hauschildt titled the album Dissolvi in order to signify a dissociation with the self, and has described the album's compositional process as quasi-generative. While much of his work seems deliberately, painstakingly crafted, there's still a fluidity and a sense of being guided by subconscious forces. ~ Paul Simpson