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Sci-Fi, Cyberpunk and Cinematic Electronica Come Together on Hautewulf’s New EP ‘Addicted’

New Delhi-based guitarist-producer Mohan Kumar’s record is set in a future where a “human android consumes a level 9 psychedelic drug”

Anurag Tagat Sep 03, 2020

New Delhi guitarist and composer-producer Mohan Kumar aka Hautewulf. Photo: Akshay Chandra

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What do Swedish metallers Meshuggah have in common with electronic music pioneer Aphex Twin? The answer lies in New Delhi guitarist-composer Hautewulf aka Mohan Kumar’s new EP Addicted, which traverses the futuristic electronic music realm but also entangles listeners in hectic beats and trippy synth and guitar patterns.

Previously part of metal bands such as Pyramids and Alien Sky Cult, Hautewulf started out last year and became Kumar’s outlet for creating a concept world, borrowing from comic book canon as well as video games. There’s demon hunters (Barak), mad scientists (Dr. Bruce) and goddesses (Hecate) all making appearances in an upcoming animated video for “I’m The Baddest Punk,” whose audio was out in March this year. Kumar says, “The Hautewulf Universe is my attempt on establishing a fictional storyline based on cyberpunk, sci-fi, and futuristic theme, and with the release of Addicted, I am introducing Hautewulf Universe Original Series, and with each release, I’ll be building up stories and concepts by introducing more characters in next few releases.”

He’s talking about “machine rights” and how a “level nine psychedelic drug is introduced as a potential threat to android’s memory database and life” — all of which makes Addicted an intriguing listen and a glimpse into a masterful modern mingling of cinematic scores and electronic music. “Different Realities,” which features bassist Sonic Shori, also marks a fruitful collaboration. Kumar counts the bassist as a good friend who made him understand the importance of storytelling and “having clarity in life towards your art.”

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In the case of Hautewulf, the story comes first and then inspires the music. “If there’s no story, I’ll be making meaningless music and I wouldn’t want to make music that I can’t connect with,” the producer explains. Up next, there’s an extended version of the EP, for which Kumar undertook animation, visual effects and video post-production on his own, after initial guidance from multi-instrumentalist Aniket Chaturvedi. He adds about the long wait to release the “I’m The Baddest Punk” animated video, “All I can do is wait for the music industry to pick up the pace again.”

Listen to ‘Addicted’ EP below. Stream on more platforms here.

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