Ummagma – Caravan

This June sees the release of the first album in seven years from Ummagma and to herald its arrival whilst offering a rather delicious teaser the indie pop duo has just released the two track single Caravan. As ever the pair’s sound is as eclectic as it is evocative and as is the trend with atmospheric senses involving mastery the new single evokes and inspires the imagination to individual adventures alongside its own.

Emerging in 2003, Ummagma is the creative union of Canadian Shauna McLarnon and Ukraine hailing Alexander Kretov. Ontario based, the pair’s sound is an imaginative fusion of everything from dream pop and shoegaze to post-punk, indie, space rock and much more, it all immersed in a tapestry of ambient and electronic enterprise. The duo has regularly been compared to bands such as Cocteau Twins, Curve, and Daughter but as Caravan alone insists, references which only hint at rather than reveal the richness of the band’s music and imagination.

It is fair to say that our personal appetite to Ummagma’s music is constant but has flourished in varying strengths across their releases and ahead of that new album in Compass, has reached lustful greed courtesy of Caravan. The song instantly had ears gripped as drums set out their ridiculously hypnotic and rousing stroll. Atmospheric suggestion is just as swiftly at play with the imagination, its soundscape of warm wide plains blossoming with suggestive vegetation. McLarnon’s warm magnetic tones are also soon caressing ears as the song sweeps into a synth pop-esque canter, Kretov’s subsequent vocals just as tempting within the pair’s web of musical insistence.

The song is pure adventure, an intimate travelogue of intrigue, intimation, and craft which had the body bouncing and ears enthralled from start to finish.

Ty i Ya accompanies Caravan offering up its own individual temptation; one funk lined and eighties synth pop bred. There is something of Dalek I Love You to the song which only added to its quick appeal and it too brings an atmospheric cascade of enterprise and suggestion which mesmerised throughout even if with varying degrees of strength across its evocative landscape.  Ummagma is a band which is unafraid to push their boundaries and the imagination of others in unexpected ways, Ty i Ya proof it so often works a treat.

It is probably fair to say that any album, indeed release, from Ummagma is eagerly anticipated in numerous corners, Caravan ensures Compass will definitely be truly keenly awaited.

Caravan is out now through Leonard Skully Records; available @ with Compass released on June 21th also via Leonard Skully Records digitally, on black vinyl and on CD with artwork by Alexander Kretov.

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Master Musicians Of Bukkake – Far West


This is our first venture with Master Musicians Of Bukkake but if their previous releases are as potent and exhilarating as Far West this will only be the beginning of a full and intimate adventure. Following on from their Totem series of albums, the six track expanse of sensually provocative and emotively empowering sounds is a mesmeric yet at times intimidating course through dramatic climes, perception enlightening landscapes, and an incitement to the exploration of personal  and emotional depths. It is meditative and challenging but most of all grippingly enthralling.

Master Musicians of Bukkake is a group of musicians from the Pacific Northwest shrouded in mystery but said to have been originally founded in 2003 and featuring members of Earth, Burning Witch, Grails, The Accüsed, and Asva. Their sounds are seeded and derived from ceremonial music which the band evolves into its own epically tantalising and emotion involving presence. Following their first release Visible Sign of the Invisible Order in 2005, the then septet explored the psyche with their Totem trilogy, Totem One emerging in 2009. We are told the three albums, Two out in 2010 and Three the following year, were different beasts to the new album yet equally as imagination stretching but without a personal experience thoughts can only suggest and tease to their grandeurs using the magnetic beauty of Far West as the template.

The new Important Records album is a merger of psychedelic coloured palettes with progressive sonic brushes all involving hues of atmospheric and soul enriched commentary to their designs. It is a startling and impossibly contagious tempest of inventive shamanistic textures all wrapping and encroaching heart and mind sculpting compelling and continually evolving feelings and narratives within their own creative arts. To be honest Far West is not that easy to portray in words certainly its intensive persuasion and effect on the emotive core of the listener, but bear with us as we do our best to relay the might and majesty of the encounter.

A fall through sinister and menacing sonic air brings opener White Mountain Return into view, its rasping breath soon speared and making way for a bone resonating call of repetitive drums and electronic niggling. With percussion adding inciting suggestions to the already hypnotic hold of the track, the guitars stroke coaxingly as a flight into wide and seductive endeavours beckons. The listener at this point is standing on the edge of an epic cliff top poised to take a leap of faith into the arms of the melodic winds and warm yet mysterious realms of the song. Once into the aerial tide of energy and creative breezes with hawk like sonic strikes keeping shadows a constant threat, thoughts and emotions are triggered into an almost exhausting stretch of imagination and visual evocation.

It is a stunning start seamlessly transforming into the equally compelling γη-νομος / Gnomi. Within a few melodic caresses mellow vocals add their masterful fascination to this new stance of adventure, the hot teasing air of the track kissing the senses along the sultry walk now being undertaken in the imagination. As the track plays with the listener’s invention, igniting further emprise within their simultaneously emerging story, the song graces the passions like a mix between The Doors, Caravan, and Helldorado. It is a western lilted submergence leading to the darker but no less intensively tempting fires to come.

Arche stalks the ear with a drone bred persuasion, the rhythmic framing and compulsion soon joined by the swarming intent and breath of scenery carving sounds. The narcotic call of the track is a virulent captivation, its hold and enticement increasing with every persistent energetic yet funereal beat and each melancholic but warm melodic beckon. It is a stroll through a menacing cavern of doubts and shadows but with a silent rich lure from Cave Of Light: The Prima Materia waiting ahead to envelope magnetised senses. Underground electronic bubbles of light breath energy into the cavernous ambience of the new song with again beats making their descriptive tale before the stunning mix of vocals, sky soaring harmonies, and Gregorian chant like flames court and sway with the equally irresistible guitar and brass fuelled beauty. It is a sensational piece within nothing but outstanding epics of songwriting and vision, a track which places its recipients into a hall of ‘gods’ visually whilst taking an inward tour of personal depths and emotions.

The album closes with firstly You Are A Dream Like Your Dreamer: The Dark Peace, a piece of music which stands within its own distinctly impacting conflict of dark and light, and lastly the enchanting Circular Ruins, a track based on the Jorge Louis Borges story of the same title. Far West is a deliciously evocative and emotionally incendiary piece of work which is intense and outstanding as a whole or as individual adventures, either having the same strength and impact on thoughts and passions…one of the albums of the year? We think so!

Master Musicians of Bukkake is:

David Abramson: percussion, drums, tef, shaman shakers, green fog

B.R.A.D: percussion, vocals, candles, sights unseen

Don McGreevy: percussion, drums, 12 string electric and acoustic guitar, mellotron, bass, brass arrangements

Randall Dunn: korg analog synths, mellotron, divining rod, water seeking foolishness

Milky: electric and acoustic guitar, synths, vocals, mossy fuzz

Timm Mason: electric guitar, serge modular synth, electric bass, insects


Additional “Far West ” Congregation and guests:

Samantha Boshnak: trumpet, flugelhorn

Naomi Siegal: trombone

White Mountian Voices: Nils Petterson, Rabia Quazi, Richie Rico

Keith Lowe: contra bass

Craig Flory: baritone and tenor saxophone


RingMaster 13/06/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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