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FILTER Grade: 83%

By Kathy Iandoli on March 21, 2014



The rumbling keys in Hauschka’s opener “Elizabeth Bay” indicate that his 11th studio album isn’t for the faint of heart. The composer deconstructs electronic rhythms, gingerly sliding makeshift sound effects into the mix. From the creaks of “Pripyat” to 88-keys mimicking synths on “Agdam,” Hauschka carefully crafts a complex soundbed of nine lengthy tracks. Like most of Hauschka’s works, Abandoned City could have easily scored a Stanley Kubrick film—the haunting scene in “Who Lived Here?” builds into a depressing symphony while “Craco” embarks on a sad note and maintains the sentiment until the end. It’s not all downtempo, though, as “Barkersville” and “Thames Town” harbor distinct playfulness—a contrast to the greater whole. While it drags on in parts, the album is still a solid example of how melding genres can inadvertently create a new one. Is there such a thing as acoustic EDM?

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