Stephen Hummel :: Meld (Self-Released)

With a handful of genres lapped over each other, Meld is an adventurous foray of raw electronics melded to lyrical lava flows that trickle into the subconscious with ease, simplicity and style. A well-oiled release that will surely agree with fans of Bitcrush, Tobias Lilja, Syntax and even mid-80s Depeche Mode for that matter.

Stephen Hummel 'Meld'

[Release page] Stephen Hummel has traveled long distances with his SubtractiveLAD vehicle and has amassed quite a catalog on n5MD since 2005. Fast-forward seven years, and 2012 has yielded his splinter solo effort of more upfront synth electronics, silky keys, strands of shoegaze and experimental foundations of yesteryear.

Undeniably featuring windswept vocal treatments reminiscent of Bitcrush and Tobias Lilja, the Vancouver-based artist carves a unique path that drifts into its own spheres. Slivers of emotion-filled instrumentals—”Sunshine” and “Revolve” come to mind—hint at the sparks exuded by Syntaks’ on their seminal Awakes full-length. Analog warmth and chilled melodies gravitate around ambient textures as evidenced on “Glorious,” a time-stretched escape node that echoes in the night. Shades of electro and synth-pop break through the clouds as these pieces rattle the senses in awe. But there’s a flickering light behind these undulating slabs of software-driven grooves versus hardware activated acrobatics. A more direct songwriting approach is administered from start to close and an emphasis on clean-cut structures reaffirms Hummel’s varied skills after venturing deep into his SubtractiveLAD moniker. With a handful of genres lapped over each other, Meld is an adventurous foray of raw electronics melded to lyrical lava flows that trickle into the subconscious with ease, simplicity and style. A well-oiled release that will surely agree with fans of Bitcrush, Tobias Lilja, Syntax and even mid-80s Depeche Mode for that matter.

Meld is available at stephenhummel.ca. Buy at Bandcamp.

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