SubtractiveLAD :: Sustain / Release (Self-Released)

A clearly recommended corpus of warm and delicately touching ambient compositions.

SubtractiveLAD is the project of Vancouver-based sound designer Stephen Hummel. A handful of materials have been published on n5MDSustain / Release is self-published and is offered as a digital album. It is a collection of highly emotional, dream-like and languorous soundscapes, droned-based guitar textures which can easily be associated with the music of Eno & Fripp in Evening Stars, also with Stars of the Lid, Eluvium, Grouper and Loren Connors. The pieces are softly moving, colorfully introspective and spacious, bringing to the fore guitar patterns which sound close to frippertronics but generally less cerebral, less obsessional in favor of a more sorrowing melodic inclination.

Sustain / Release is really pleasant and invites the listener to a quiet, serene and deeply solitary sounding excursion. It is partly improvised and made of free-form guitar sequences which sometimes take an opened modern jazzy ambient dimension as in the cinematic and beautifully sculpted “Where the Meanings Are.” Some obscure, discordant and experimental treatments punctuate the ensemble as in the mind-altered then heavenly pastoral and semi-acoustic “The Way Up.” We can also notice the detached bluesy interlude “Dragonfly” and the cloudy-ethereal dronescape “Into the Green.”

To sum up things Sustain / Release is a clearly recommended corpus of warm and delicately touching ambient compositions.

Sustain / Release is available on Bandcamp.

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