Who says that you shouldn’t meet your heroes? Ummagma did and the result is a stunning remix that also acts as the lead single for their forthcoming ‘LCD’ EP. After Robin Guthrie heard their track ‘Lama’, which originally appeared on the band’s debut album ‘Antigravity’, mutual friends put the band and the Cocteau Twins multi-instrumentalist in touch. The result is this wonderful new version of the song, which sees him not only re-arrange and re-mix the song but also add his own guitar parts into the mix.
Ummagma are a band whose unlikely back story matches and perfectly explains their mercurial music. Shauna McLarnon, a vocalist from the Yukon wilderness and Alexander Kretov, a multi-instrumentalist from small town Ukraine, met in the suburban sprawl of Moscow after pursuing many solo adventures and exploring unusual pathways. Bonding over their shared musical interests as much as their divergent musical backgrounds, Ummagma began as an affair with love and sound, their relationship soon developing into both a musical and factual marriage.
‘Lama’ exists in an alternate dimension of ambient drifts and sonic textures that wash over you in gentle waves and then recede back into a sonorous, twilight world of fading vapour trails of sound and vocals, seemingly found between reality and possibility. This is a sound that Guthrie and his fellow Cocteau Twins helped to pioneer and evolve throughout the 80’s – a sound that still informs much of his work, though here, his trademark feedback drenched guitar sound is used more to shimmer rather than shatter, to chime rather than slash.
Ummagma ‘LCD’ involves not only one, but two legendary musicians, the other being maverick electronic musician Dean Garcia of Curve fame.
“I grew up listening to Cocteau Twins, Curve, and so many bands from the 4AD and Creation labels, and then later introduced them to my husband. He learned of them late, having been born in the USSR. We feel incredibly honoured that Robin Guthrie and Dean Garcia have shaped several of our tracks as they personally envision them,” says Shauna McLarnon.
As a calling card for the four-track EP to follow, ‘Lama’ is a perfect sonic snapshot, capturing the bands core sound, their ambient heart, and the often smoke-like musical sculptures they create. Dream pop, it would seem, is deliciously back on the menu.
The accompanying video was directed by award winning Brazilian videographer Dimitry Uziel and produced by Coisas Que Pairam. Featuring model Ka Uziel and himself, this was filmed in and near San Paolo, Brazil.
Ummagma ‘LCD’ will be released on September 15 via Label Obscura (digital, cassette) and Somewherecold Records (CD), and is already available for pre-order on the duo’s Bandcamp.
This is a really brilliant post-rocky shoegazey woozy ambient thing. It's absolutely beautiful - Dani Charlton, Amazing Radio
Full kaleidoscope of sounds, harmonies and musical instruments… the result is massive with an intricate fabric - Rolling Stone Russia
Ethereal pop indebted to Cocteau Twins and much of the rest of 4AD’s ’80s output - BrooklynVegan
This is really very cosmic music. Made of stardust - Joe Foster (Creation Records)
An honest, believable & beautiful lyric delivered by an honest, believable & beautiful voice. When you combine this with the swirling ambience of lush layered guitars this duo end up with their own unique sonic landscape - Malcolm Holmes (OMD)
Ummagma’s sound is so trippy I had to buy new studio monitors to make sure I wasn't hallucinating... If Underworld or Chemical Bros did their song 'Lama', it would be proclaimed an instant classic- Rudy Tambala (A.R. Kane)
Ummagma are hidden gems not known to the masses but beloved by people of the calibre like Cocteau Twins and Creation Records. Among the brightest of today's artists - The Veldt
- Dream Pop