subtractiveLad - Apparatus

Album Review by Don McVinnie | 22 Apr 2008
Album title: Apparatus
Artist: subtractiveLad
Label: n5md
Release date: out now

Stephen Hummel introduces the fourth album under his subtractiveLAD guise, an impressive feat considering he’s only been working on the project for five years. The Vancouver-based experimental musician’s efforts have definitely paid off. Apparatus is an incredibly pleasing album to listen to from start to finish and should appeal to shoegazers everywhere. With a background steeped in improv jazz and industrial, elements of these can be found in these more ambient works. Album-opener Civil Dusk is a drone of slow brass and feedback, in a good way. Elsewhere the album has hints of Explosions In The Sky in tracks like Decay As A Lifestyle and Spoiled Honey, and Boards of Canada in Civil Dusk - so if that bout of name-dropping didn’t whet your palette, you probably won’t be into it. On a side note, apparently Hummel made the album on software all created by him, so not only is he a good musician but he’s also pretty clever too.