Ummagma – Frequency EP (2015)

Ummagma is a place where the intangible can be touched and the visible is hidden from sight. This is a place where ambient and shoegaze pursue chunky physicality while loud guitars skulk shyly amidst seaweed throngs. You’ll find flowering blooms of electro, krautrock and dance. Ummagma is a place where all is pretty but the rules of music are working in reverse. As conventions are flipped, physical and mental reactions become unpredictable. Ethereal and dreamlike it may be, but this is a realm of porcelain sharks.

Ummagma are Alexander Kretov and Shauna McLarnon. Their pristine new EP is Frequency, but the good news is that the record has been lengthened and strengthened for your pleasure…

‘Orion’ is your dappling, low-key intro to the mysterious sound-scapes of Ummagma. Here with a mysterious, peaceful garden: droplets of watery synth, occasional twangs of bass.

As soon as ‘Lama’ starts, the presence of something special is apparent. The listener is thrown head first into a spin cycle while a house party in 1995 is vigorously getting started downstairs. Slowly stepping through the gears past two minutes the song swerves with helicopter rhythms that recalls The Chameleons. Around four minutes and the song truly blooms into colourful bursts of huge, shimmering dance rock that capitulates as it conquers.

Ummagma 4

‘Winter’s Tale’ is a toybox construct so opaque it spreads its childlike melody around your room with a disturbing ease. A little like a Sigur Ros song that doesn’t go on for 12 bleeding minutes.

‘Galacticon’ is such a fine recreation of 1970s sci-fi soundtracks you can almost see the king of the Lizard-Men himself, resplendent in his ceremonial tin foil tunic.

On ‘Ocean Girl’, David Bowie pops around with his acoustic guitar to sing a ditty. Ok, so it isn’t D. Bowie. Despite that, what we have is a short, delightful song to ease you into slumber…

Ummagma psych design-2

But wait! it isn’t time for bed yet – we have not one, not two, but three  remixes of ‘Lama’ to enjoy…

Robin Guthrie’s is extra wistful, extra melancholy. OMD’s Mal Holmes’ offering tweaks the electr-pop setting to “dance-floor filling” and Light That Change’s steps into John Carpenter territory and

Ummagma: painting pictures and throwing parties…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s