Wow! It’s Christmas Eve Eve! Today’s door opens on Ummagma and A.R. Kane, with their song, ‘Winter Tale’.
With winter now underway, Ummagma will be releasing the dreamy single ‘Winter Tale’, along with an captivating b-side courtesy of celebrated dreampop pioneer and 4AD recording artist A.R.Kane (plus bonus radio edit). In the holiday spirit, this release is being offered as a gift to listeners.
Ummagma is comprised of Shauna McLarnon and Alexander Kretov. On this track, Ummagma unveils the shimmery glow of otherworldly delicacy, full of layered yet decipherable lyrics, sway and palpable electronic sounds. Reaching a more confident spot than before, this is Ummagma stripped of some of the devices the band formerly cloaked their sound in, offering up a beautiful yet different shade of melancholy than on previous releases. Paradoxically, the duo seemingly find equilibrium as they ponder the passing of time and detriment of inactivity.
Rudy Tambala of A.R.Kane lends his hallmark oceanic dream-space twist to this track with a kickback to his ‘69’ album, evident even from the title ‘Mix 69 Style’, recalling such classic tracks as ‘Baby Milk Snatcher’ and ‘Spermwhale Trip Over’.
Back in the 1980s, A.R.Kane was the first to coin the term “dream pop”, referring to the music they make. They went on to influence everyone from My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive to Andrew Weatherall – whose long-running night ‘A Love From Outer Space’ derives its name from their seminal 1989 track. They also were an important progenitor of shoegaze, trip hop, acid house and post-rock. Widely recognised as one of the most influential bands of their era, they laid ground for many musical genres that came to dominate the alternative music scene. AllMusic describes A.R.Kane as “the most criminally under-recognised band of their era”. The Guardian calls their work “some of the 80’s most extraordinary music”.
A.R.Kane and Ummagma have been enjoying a budding friendship over the past year surrounding their involvement with shoegaze indie legends The Veldt. Together they decided to put a little something together as a gift for this festive season.
“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,” says Rudy Tambala of A.R.Kane.
Their latest ‘Frequency’ EP features contributions by several legendary artists, including Cocteau Twins master Robin Guthrie and Malcolm Holmes of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, both of whom bring their signature sound to their mixes. This EP follows their debut albums ‘Ummagma’ and‘Antigravity’.
As ever, they take the listener through a cosmic yet introspective dreampop and ambient journey, tinged with shoegaze and synthpop flair. Their new offering explores such themes as space and distance, timelessness, escapism, and the search for tranquility.
“There was so much positivity and a real sense of magic the day we recorded this. A whirlwind had just passed, the electricity supply was once again stable, and we were virtually bursting to get into the studio and capture on our energy on tape, so to speak,” explains Shauna McLarnon, vocalist for Ummagma.
Before relocating to Canada, Ummagma had won the Alternative Eurovision on Amazing Radio, representing Ukraine. They gained wider recognition through being featured in Rolling Stone Russia, Louder Than War, Electronic Sound Magazine, BBC6 Music and Spain’s national Radio 3, among others. ‘Frequency’ numbered in more than 30 ‘Best of 2015′ charts and was named the Top Release of 2015 by Stereo Embers Magazine and Dreampop Album of the Year by The Record Stache.