Reviewed by Julian Wilson

Wolff/Addition by Subtraction

Just when you think that everything’s been done with electronic music comes Wolff with a radical yet, at least on Addition by Subtraction, completely successful idea. The gimmick, if you want to refer to it as such, is that most of the instruments are played through a tuba. What could’ve been a prog-rock disaster of epic proportions is a surprisingly accessible and actually well-crafted disc that sounds completely, breathtakingly original. Bravo! The title track and “What I See” are rooted in the raincoat post-punk of Joy Division; however, Wolff is feeding the cold, ominous textures and pulsating rhythms through a tuba, producing a big, eeriely claustrophobic sound. Add the distorted vocals to them, and you have Goth redefined for the 21st century.

Shockingly, Wolff is incredibly versatile, able to create varied styles with his super tuba powers. “It’s Okay to Be Happy” hops with playful electronica while “Broken Words” slams the scratchy beats of hip-hop with the chilly Euro dance of Kraftwerk. “Combustible” swirls with a jazz-like free flow while “Screaming Tuba” and “Haunted” bring on the industrial grind.