Steve Hauschildt, ‘Tragedy & Geometry’ (Kranky)
Steve Hauschildt, of Cleveland electronica trio Emeralds, says the title of this intriguing album refers to the muses of tragedy (Melpomene) and geometry (Polyhymnia). Egghead inclinations aside, it’s a visceral display of synth prowess that makes exhilarating use of contrasting textures and subtle dynamics. The gently flowing “Peroxide” has an eerie sci-fi sheen, like a beautiful hallucination about to turn ugly; the bubbly, 11-minute “Music for a Moire Pattern” distorts time, seeming to pass in an instant. Let’s hope Hauschildt always uses his mind-bending powers for good, not evil.