Mohan Kumar aka Hauetwulf is a New Delhi based guitarist and composer who used to play in metal bands such as Alien Sky Cult and Pyramids. Hauetwulf serves as Kumar’s medium for creating a comic book and video game inspired world.
“Addicted” by Hautewulf is a brief but brilliant EP which serves a three course meal with enough variety to satisfy almost any synthwave/cyberpunk fan.
The EP capitalizes on the best parts of Hatewulf’s unique style and offers flavorful melodies, admirable twists in song direction, and an undeniable energy that radiates from each entry on it. For Hautewulf, the story comes before the music as he doesn’t want to create music he can’t connect with. The Hautewulf Universe establishes a fictional storyline steeped in cyberpunk and sci-fi. “Addicted” marks the start of the Hautewulf Universe Original Series, and with each release, stories and concepts will be built up with more characters that will arrive in the coming releases.
The EP opens with “Cravings”. The song comes out of the gate on the back of an ambient, ethereal synth intro and it’s easy to be pulled into the heavily textured and multi-layered composition as Hautewulf starts threading his bright melodies into the mix.
The high point of “Cravings” comes near the 1:10 mark when Hautewulf introduces the gorgeous synth melody which will immediately transport you into a scene from Blade Runner 2049. The soaring melody resolves with a fading keyboard outro. The infinitely likable melodies of “Cravings” are definitely something to look forward to on repeat listens.
“Different Realities” is also another great entry on the EP. It opens with a spoken word intro and offers solid songwriting and well-balanced production that allows the melodies to shine clearly across a composition that never feels out of sorts. Renowned jazz bassist Sonic Shori lends his incredible chops to this track as well. At 5 minutes and 8 seconds long, it is also the longest track on the EP.
However, it never overstays its welcome and you will be looking for the replay button as soon as it’s done playing. Hautewulf has loaded the songs with creative enthusiasm and they each ripple with the marks of a creator who is fully in his element. The moment when “Different Realities” ascends from its effervescent bass solo section into a gorgeous synth melody is one of the most inspired moments on the EP and it makes “Different Realities” worth returning to numerous times.
The EP’s closer, “Consequences” offers a slightly darker and sci-fi themed piece, and its pounding rhythm supports an array of melodies that weave in and out of one another in a highly satisfying composition. This song won’t be out of place as the soundtrack during the Disc Wars in Tron: Legacy. The relentless beats and synths shine through the speakers, resulting in a remarkable auditory experience.
Using a dynamic blend of songwriting approaches, Hautewulf combines synthwave and cinematic scores together on an electronic foundation for a plethora of satisfying moments on “Addicted”. The EP is bereft of any lowlights and it’s quite easy to come away from the recording with a real sense of satisfaction.
Hautewulf’s “Addicted” is unique, and in a veritable ocean of mid-tier, predictable, cyberpunk synthwave, it well and truly stands out.
Verdict: A great glimpse into the Hautewulf Universe.