Despite some heavy turmoil in Ukraine, synth pop post-punk crossover duo Ummagma are showing a solid footing, looking forward to a brighter future for Eastern Europe and humanity in general. In this release, this Canadian-Ukrainian team is observing their freedoms – exploring the root of today’s problems to create beauty in the face of hostility.
‘Kiev’ is not just the capital of Ukraine and the epicenter of massive civil unrest this year – this is the name of the duo’s new release, where they rise above the decay and mayhem encountered in that country to embrace diversity and beauty, while taking their music in new directions. Essentially, ‘Kiev’ is a message of hope.
Here they follow up their double A-side Rotation / Live and Let Die single and ‘Lama’ extended EP (released May) with an amazing package featuring the original ‘Kiev’ plus 9 remixes from 9 fantastic producers from nearly as many countries, celebrating the splendor of the original composition in their own unique styles.
Auxiliary tha Masterfader transforms the duo’s work into an Italoesque electro-disco-pop gem. A Copycat‘s handclap-dream-pop version is tender as a peach skin with a retro summer groove factor. Statickman‘s synths shoot like laser guns into the retro-synth future. A Copy For Collapse goes for a more experimental, industrial approach, while David Garcet‘s trippy chillwave edit brings downtempo bliss. Mikael Fas dishes up a beautiful trance-imbued deep house version. Celebrated Japanese chillwave artist Haioka takes everything to the next level with sounds reminiscent of an angelic playground. Sounds of Sputnik presents a stripped-down 90s indie version laced with synth-guitar harmony. Brazilian electro-child Mind Movies delivers a fragmented, dubby and loud breakbeat adaptation that probably comes closest to the actual state of mankind if we could listen to its rhythm.
The outcome shows that what is the end for one person may be the start for another. Even more important, it shows that beauty can blossom even in the midst of ugliness.
About Ummagma: Since forming in Moscow in 2003, this Canadian-Ukrainian duo has been living between Ukraine and Canada, simultaneously releasing 2 debut albums in 2012. In 2013, Ummagma won the Alternative Eurovision, hosted by Amazing Radio, from 21 countries and repeated the feat in 2014 on Pure FM. They received 2 awards at the 2013 Australian Independent Music Video Awards, often feature in The Scottish New Music Chart, and landed a full-spread feature in Rolling Stone Russia. Ummagma has also caught the attention of Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) and Malcolm Holmes (OMD), who have remixed tracks for forthcoming release.
Selected artists/press feedback
“Like The Sundays and Cocteau Twins might sound after dropping acid, jumping in a space ship and jamming together as they float through space and time” ~ The VPME
“A beautiful, downtempo track with a vocal performance that will remind you of Liz Fraser” ~ Deadly Music
“A surreal affair. Psychedelic electro-pop” ~ The Sound of Confusion
“Elements of MBV, Mazzy Star, Cocteau Twins, even early 80s Bowie – Ummagma have found a sound that is truly their own and it demands repeated listening” ~ Echoes and Dust
“Gorgeous guitar harmonies combining very well with splendid vocals and melodies” ~ Hearty Vibes
“Echoes of Cocteau Twins, Slowdive and Spectrum… combining chiming guitars, hazy vocals and electronics to forge something a little more experimental” ~ Sounds XP