Now 7 albums in, Stephen Hummel has decided to push his SubtractiveLAD project into seemingly uncharted territory. Fans of Hummel's work know that at any given moment his songs can thoughtfully veer into more "classic" electronic music territory. On previous efforts, artists such as Boards of Canada and Brian Eno have been name-dropped as stylistic signposts but now such widescreen chill-room workouts are only one part of Hummel's big picture. Hummel has also injected elements of Jazz, Shoegaze and even Industrial into his works and excels in making such incorporations transparent and cohesive. With his latest album "Kindred", Hummel adds the Berlin School era of Krautrock (and more specifically its close, more electronically minded sibling, Kosmische Musik) to his long list of inspirations. Hummel does so by utilizing more of the analog synthesizer sound-bed-of-choice of artists like Cluster, Ashra, and one of his biggest influences, Tangerine Dream. By mixing all these elements, Hummel is using his own history as well as the tradition of his influences to create an album that is on one hand somewhat future-retro but on the other undeniably fresh. "Kindred" could very well be the album that Hummel was born to create. An amalgam of the new and the old with a no apologies level of honesty and emotion. Each song a journey to some landscape we've never seen before.
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