450. Incandescent – Crumbacher

INCANDESCENT (1985)

Crumbacher

Another in the long list of great Southern California acts introduced through Calvary Chapel’s MRC (Ministry Resource Center) label and the popular “What’s Shakin'” sampler. Also, like so many of those artists, they also ended up on Frontline Records. But this debut was a Broken Records (also a Calvary Chapel related imprint at the time) release and started a nearly decade long career for the band.

The techno beats and synthesizer melodies would dominate the sound of the band throughout their career, though later albums would add a more live drum sound and guitars. But this first one is solidly in the camp of techno, futurized synth pop. The vocals seemed to match the “electronic” sound with an Americanzied version of Gary Numan or Men Without Hats.

Produced by Undercover’s Ojo Taylor and engineered by The Choir’s Derry Daugherty, the album was immediately likable and sold pretty well out of the box as I recall. They had built a decent following in Southern California and Incandescent built a platform that later albums would take advantage of.

The interesting thing about Crumbacher, and Incandescent in particular, is that hidden within all the electronic trappings are some wonderfully well written pop tunes. Melody and harmony has always been a strong Stephen Crumbacher trademark as later albums, especially his more acoustic leaning solo project, can attest to. Songs like Jamie and Glowing in the Dark are examples of great melody and hook in a techno package.

One side note. Stephen wrote every song except the cover of the Gospel Hymn “Sweet By and By.”

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  1. Brian
    October 15, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    This is an example of a one of those fresh listening experiences. There was really nothing like it when it came out and it captivated my attention when I first heard it.

    This was also something about CCM I really liked then and do not now. The variety in styles. Now it is just a narrow formula t maximize sales. But back in the day, when all of this fresh & new music was hitting…well it was a treat for the musical palette.

  2. Jon
    March 10, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Brian, I agree about the styles and the lack thereof today, however, that trend goes beyond CCM today, it’s prevalent in all styles of music, and it’s just as unfortunate for them as it is for CCM.

  3. Robert Haake
    October 6, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I really love this cover. It´s so much Synthpop to me!

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