Considering just how
much music washes on our earbuds these days, how much of it is actually
something you are thankful you’ve even heard? And how much of that really makes
you stand up and notice an artist for having a particularly unique sound – one
that is unmistakably theirs, allowing you to distinguish one of their tracks
from anyone else at first listen? For
many, the answer both times around would be ‘not many’. Fortunately, today we
present you a band that most definitely should be on your radar (and will
likely to stay there on their own merit).
otherwise seemingly prolific, it has been 7 years since Ummagmahasreleased
their last long-play. Springing onto the musical scene in 2012 with not one,
but two albums (‘Antigravity’ and self-titled ‘Ummagma’), they made quite an
impression with their special brand of electronic rock-infused indie pop. Dabbling also in
shoegaze and ethereal territory, their subsequent EPs and singles brought them further
into ambient and indietronic realms, conducting their voyages through both
female and male vox, sometimes even in tandem.
sound may not be known to the masses, but it has pleased those who have
encountered it, ultimately leading to collaborations with music icons Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins)andDean Garcia (Curve) on their most recent‘LCD’ EP with 4AD dreampop pioneerA.R.Kane on their 'Winter Tale' EP, both released in 2017.
Prior tracks saw them work withOrchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's Malcolm
Holmes, Swervedriver's Graham Bonnar and nudisco kingpinAlexander Robotnick, in addition to releasing
the entire 'New Born'album with Moscow shoegaze
post-rockers Sounds of Sputnik .
ecstatic yet grounded compositions demonstrate their ability to wander diverse
musical pathways, a vision that resulted in a full-page spread inRolling StoneRussia and saw them win theAlternative EurovisiononAmazing Radio in 2013, representing Ukraine among 23 countries.
In 2015, their work was also recognized when Sounds of Sputnik received the prestigious
Jagermeister indie award for their joint ‘New Born’ album.
is a must-serve prescription for music connoisseurs into the likes of Curve,
Daughter, Lanterns on the Lake, A.R.Kane, Wolf Alice, Broadcast, Cocteau Twins
and Still Corners. Rolling Stone calls this music “massive with an intricate
fabric” and a “full kaleidoscope of sounds, harmonies and musical instruments”.
Their music has always presented the optimistic side of the emotional spectrum,
as noted by such publications as Clash Music, The Skinny, BrooklynVegan and The
Ummagma will be releasing their new album'Compass' in June via Manchester-based
Records. Ahead of this third long-play, which will
also be the first time the band is releasing a record on vinyl, they present
the'Caravan'single, along with a special
B-side 'Ty i Ya'.
and summoning the wilds of one’s imagination, here we find a mesmerizing drum
beat, steady ethno-prog guitar stylings, ideal sense of space, and gossamer female
vocals interchanged with confident and earthy male vox.
on this single are inspired by the journey taken by vocalist Shauna McLarnon
and multi-instrumentalist Alexander Kretov. Having met in Moscow in 2003 and
eventually making a home in Ukraine before relocating to Canada, the two have
traversed much terrain and life experiences together. Now based in Ontario,
they finally present this new offering from their new studio. With such
transience in the real world, it’s no wonder that this release should be
governed by fluidity and movement?
is about a personal journey - one that begins in the mind before any borders
have even been crossed," says Ummagma vocalistShauna McLarnon. "The trip is so much
better when you truly want to be part of it. You map your own destiny in many
ways and dreaming is a great place to begin."
'Ty i Ya' is a vibe-injected upbeat track, with
infectious Daft Punk-esque bassline, thatAlexander Kretovcomposed and performs in his
native Ukrainian language. This is the first single Ummagma has ever released
in a language other than English, stepping beyond the confines of past
Ummagma’s music is fascinating in its post-genre
nature, embodying grace and change, familiarity and exploration, emotion and
euphoria, as well as cinematic highs and intimate lows. This is the sound of a
band allowing themselves to jump creative divides, to kick down musical
barriers, and rip up the rule book or perhaps just ignore the fact that there
ever was one in the first place.
While Ummagma’s ‘Caravan’ single is out on May 8,
it can already be pre-ordered at https://ummagma.bandcamp.com/album/caravan. It won’t be long after that
the ‘Compass’ LP itself will be released (on June 21), available on black vinyl
and CD with artwork by Alexander Kretov and also digitally everywhere,
including oniTunes, AmazonandSpotify.
CREDITS All songs written and performed by Ummagma Music and arrangement by Alexander Kretov and
Shauna McLarnon Lyrics and vocals by Alexander Kretov and Shauna
McLarnon Produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by
Alexander Kretov at Ummagma Studio Publicity byShameless Promotion PR Cover design and artwork by Alexander Kretov at
‘Galacticon’, another track from the upcoming album, as well as the Robin
Guthrie mix of their song ‘Lama’ (video directed by Brazilian
videographer Dimitry Uziel and produced by Coisas Que Pairam).
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Erasure – Wild!
Deluxe Edition (Mute/BMG) 2 x CD 29 March 2019 Legendary British
synthpop duo re-package their 1989 album. Following on from
the pop-stomp of debut album Wonderland and the subsequent pop onslaught of The
Circus and The Innocents, Erasure released their fourth long player in October
1989 to continue the claim of being one of the most popular artists of the late
80s-early 90s.With Wild! came a more
sophisticated sound with more complex arrangements and became with second of
what would be four consecutive number one albums in the UK. Selling over 600,000
copies and achieving double platinum status Wild! was produced by Gareth Jones
(Depeche Mode, Einstürzende Neubauten, Nick Cave) and
Mark Saunders (The Cure, Tricky, Neneh Cherry) and contained four top 20
singlesfollowing on from their number 23 success with Stop! arguably one of the finest
pop songs of the last fifty years. Beginning with a
minute long instrumental version of album closer Piano Song the album set up a grandiose
entrance which was followed by the albums highest charting single Blue
Savannah.Still a live favourite to this
date, it was signature Erasure with sweeping piano, faux strings and crisp
synth effects with a wonderfully uplifting feel. The albums opening
single, Drama! Stormed to into the UK top 5 and cemented the duo’s dominance on
the chart.Starting with a subtle
keyboard intro and subdued vocals from Any Bell, it soon proceeded to one of
the most complicated arrangements to hit the airwaves becoming a startling
dancefloor anthem.The multi-layered
Bell vocals were an incredible performance from the singer and the group shout
of “Guilty” was added to by Jim and William Reid (The Jesus Mary Chain) who
were recording in a next door studio!
In amongst the high
paced tracks of Wild! there is also time for some slower tracks to break the
chaos – How Many Times, the albums second single You Surround Me and Crown Of
Thorns – all of which mingle perfectly into the genius wizardry of Vince Clarke
and his extricable melody talents and, it is probably on tracks like La Gloria
and Brother And Sister that we see the true range of Bell’s vocals in some
positively exciting performances. The success of the
album prompted the release of a fourth single in Star, a high powered
out-and-out pop song whose lyric gave way to the title of the retrospective box
set From Moscow To Mars and, tickled the UK top 10 from the safety of the
number eleven spot and, there were other tracks, namely 2,000 Miles that could
have stretched to a fifth. Of course, no deluxe
edition wold be complete without a disc of bonus features and Wild! is no
exception with thirteen extra tracks (including five previously unreleased)
comprising of remixed, new mixes and, live versions. The incredible
Drama! (Act 2) and (almost) instrumental Sweet Sweet Baby (The Moo-Moo Mix)
from the Drama!12” singleand here
together with Piano Song (premiered by Louder Than War here) and Brother And
Sister which were both recorded at the London Arena in December 1989.There’s also a huge treat in the Daniel
Miller/Phil Legg remix of Cerrone’s Supernature which appeared on the Extra
Limited Edition 12” of You Surround Me along with the Gareth Jones Mix of the
single from the same disc.
A brand new mix of
Drama! by Richard Norris of The Grid and the Alternative Mix of How Many Times
completes the brand new listening and the experimental 91 Steps (6 Pianos Mix)
ends a fascinating disc. Wild! has stood the
test of time as a brilliant pop album and, now updated with additional sought
after material, becomes indispensable to all pop fans. Website Twitter Facebook Published on Louder Than War 27/03/19 - here If you enjoyed this article please follow hiapop on Twitter here, and like on Facebook here.
Anni Hogan – Lost In
Blue (Cold Spring Records) LP / CD /DL 5 April 2019 Multi-talented
musician, producer, composer and DJ releases here new album. Originally rising to
prominence via her association with Soft Cell, Anni Hogan returns with a
fascinating album of cabaret and vaudeville tinged tracks comprising of several
collaborations from members of Kraftwerk, Virgin Prunes and Bad Seeds. As a student at
Leeds University in the late 70s she met Marc Almond and David Ball at a local
live venue and was later asked to join Marc And The Mambas who also included
Matt Johnson of The The.Her work as
part of the Mambas and also The Willing Sinners was pivotal in the cult success
of Almond’s solo material as was her production of his albums Jacques and The
Stars We Are. Produced by David
Ball and film score producer Riccardo Mulhall. Lost In Blue consists of eleven
new tracks of crisp and clinical quality.Beautiful orchestral arrangements and her gorgeous piano playing
intertwine with a feel of bleakness and sordid torch which will strike a loving
and sentimental chord with any fans of the grossly underrated Mambas. Album opener, Lost
Somewhere features Hogan on vocals against an almost ambient, Gaelic backdrop
introducing some magnificent electro swirls and sax solo around the halfway
mark.It’s a wonderful start to an album
that will grow and grow as it weaves its way beautifully and naturally from
piece to piece. Whether purposefully
or not, many of the tracks feature the guest appearances in a spoken word
format.It works well, particularly as
each artist presents a different tone and presentation which stops the sound of
a bohemian Soho becoming commonplace and boring.Kid Congo Powers (Cramps, Bad Seeds) provides
the first taste of collaboration on My Career, a lamentable and enthralling.
featuring Kraftwerk percussionist Wolfgang Flür is simply
captivating.His accent taking the song
on a different slant – so descriptive and alluring that it becomes almost
sexual as piano and strings melt with his mellow tones.Along with Ghosts Of Soho featuring writer,
actress and artist Celine Hispiche and, Making Blackpool Rock with Scarlet West
it is one of the hard to pick highlights of the album.
Of Soho and Making Blackpool Rock display a touch of anger as we weave down the
bleakness of troubled society with a simple and honest depiction of modern
times, before John Fiddler of Medicine Head closes the album with the title
track, a blues infused lament containing some wonderful harmonica.
Blue is a fine album, created with passion and a love for all things tattered
and torn.Be impressed.