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 @ https://ummagma.bandcamp.com/album/caravan with Compass released on June 21th also via Leonard Skully Records digitally, on black vinyl and on CD with artwork by Alexander Kretov.

https://www.facebook.com/ummagma   https://twitter.com/ummagma

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Virgance – Paradigm 3

The_Virgance_Paradigm_3_promo_pic_1.jpg_RingMaster Review

Looking for an escape from the turbulence of the modern world, from the grind and imposition life so often brings the day? UK artist The Virgance is one who provides such opportunity through his new album Paradigm 3, a celestial post-rock fuelled instrumental flight on the wings of shoegaze expanding through immersive ambiences which just suck you right in. Close your eyes and drift in thought and the album simply transports ears and mind to another fascinating and warm landscape, though it too has shadows to intrigue the imagination and stir the emotions. The release is a fascinating exploration, one which occasionally ebbs and flows in potency from time to time with personal tastes but one which from its first mesmeric note through to its final wash of atmospheric beauty, leaves a rousing glow in its wake.

The Virgance is the solo project of Colchester hailing Nathan Smith, former guitarist of UK indie band Ripley and the co-producer of electronica outfit Loveless. Early 2014 saw Smith emerge with his debut album Lost Continent, a release luring critical acclaim and eager awareness the way of The Virgance. Its successor in the January of this year only lured greater plaudits and attention, Hiko Shrine reinforcing the reputation and expansive nature of Smith’s composing and sound which Paradigm 3 now explores to richer success.

cover_RingMaster Review   From opener 25 Years ears are entranced and the imagination ignited by the almost ravenous kaleidoscope of sound and textures slowly and magnetically swamping the senses. The guitar craft and enterprise of Smith is as lively and enthralling as the ambiences and beauty oozing from the keys, and equally the darker hues and character of drums and a bass which at times are virtually stalking the psyche from within the sonic drenching of track and air. For us the best instrumentals, even within an open theme or inescapable atmospheric suggestiveness making major hints on the imagination, are those allowing thoughts to conjure new and different exploits with each and every listen and certainly that is the case with Paradigm 3 and each individual emprise of sound and invention.

Through both the rockier Epiphony and the haunting Sequester Smith ‘traps’ the listener in a cloud of sonic seduction and less prominent but equally alluring rhythmic contrasts. The first of the two pieces blossoms with its great subtle repetition within an absorbingly crafted sonic journey whilst the second is like an evolving spatial mist, an enthralling brewing of slightly sinister tinged intensity in sound emerging within noir toned drama.

From one big highlight to another and the more minimalistic and earthbound Moonolog. A simple union of bass and guitar alone has ears gripped and thoughts involved whilst around them a tension slowly but clearly grows in the lining and atmosphere of the track. Calm and warm sonic caresses ultimately keep any volatility at bay but the hints are there to ensure the track continues to dispel expectations and predictability.

There is a great raw edge, and at times thicker expulsions, within Paradigm 3; another underlying constant which chooses its moments to temper the universal flight and fiery elegance within the likes of the senses smothering Saturnine which embraces controlled causticity to fine effect. In contrast, Down The River leaves rougher traits under wraps as its siren-esque swelter and ethereal vocal bewitchment, courtesy of Shauna McLarnon of dream pop duo Ummagma, swallow ears and emotions. The first single from the album, it sparks thoughts of new worlds and old civilizations but again terrains with fresh scenery every listen.

The album is completed by firstly Dissipate, a brief and fiercely potent stretch of sound and imagination which is as strangely harrowing as it is mystically compelling and finally No Return, itself a darker and seemingly harsher environment initially, but emerging like a celestial butterfly shredding warm resonance with every melodic flutter, though again darker elements bring an extra resourceful slither of intrigue.

   Paradigm 3 is spellbinding, an exploration you will only be glad you have not missed. It is best heard in one full odyssey of sound and stimulation though admittedly that does run the risk, if not paying attention, of tracks merging into one and another and losing some of their defining features. However you embrace the album though, it is a proposition that shoegaze and post rock fans especially will find great rewards in.

Paradigm 3 is out now on CD through El Vals del Conejo and as name your price download via The Virgance Bandcamp.

Pete RingMaster 22/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Patetico Recordings release Rock Back for Nepal Compilation

 

cover vol 1 _RingMaster Review

Rock Back for Nepal is a 3-part series of disaster relief compilations being released by U.S. indie label Patetico Recordings. The label is partnering with nearly 60 independent artists and several small indie labels around the globe to make this happen. They have all come together in order to raise funds for victims of the recent catastrophic earthquakes in Nepal. All money raised will go directly to the relief efforts.

The compilations are being supported by several luminaries of the independent rock and shoegaze scene, among others. “Whenever Tom Lugo reaches out to his musical family, you know it’s for a crucial and essential cause. The Rock Back for Nepal CD compilation is no exception,” explains Dean Garcia of seminal shoegaze bands Curve and SPC ECO. “I’m proud to be part of this relief effort / fund raiser for anyone affected by the recent earthquake disaster in Nepal and if I can help or contribute in some way to aid support and assistance to the many displaced people, I will without question. Please support this cause and donate as generously as you can.”

Perhaps one of the most renowned personalities in the shoegaze / noise rock spheres, Oliver Ackermann (A Place To Bury Strangers, Skywave) has also lent his support to the cause. “It is a horrible tragedy this destruction of culture and life. I feel lucky that I can use my craft and contribute a song to this fund to help them raise money for relief. If we can all do something to help and give relief for the people of Nepal we should do it now.”

It’s great to be among this sparkling array of brilliant artists, taking action in support of a great cause,” says Marc Joy of Welsh outfit Lights That Change. Alexx Kretov of Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma is also hopeful.” May the common freebie attitude fall to the wayside for this project. We really hope that people will support a higher cause by spending a few dollars and spreading this music far and wide.

All three volumes are being released at the same time, and will be available through Bandcamp and Amazon.com exclusively, both digitally and on CD. The album artwork and design is by Gardy Perez.

The concept of the Rock Back compilation series was born in 2011 when disaster hit Japan and Tom Lugo, owner of Patetico Recordings, acted on his empathy for charitable causes and non-profit organizations by reaching out to the community of artists in his network. They collectively put together a compilation and the profits were donated to relief efforts. The response was overwhelming, with over 100 artists from across the globe joining in the efforts. What was to be a single CD compilation grew into the 8-disc compilation Rock Back for Japan. The compilation series hit the top 10 Indie Rock releases on the http://www.Amazon.com chart for several weeks, with certain volumes holding the number 1 spot.

VOLUME 1 features

SPC ECO (UK), A Place to Bury Strangers (USA), Ummagma (Canada-Ukraine), Lights That Change (UK), Sounds of Sputnik (Russia), Stellarscope (USA), The Manhattan Love Suicides (UK), Clustersun (Italy), The One2s (USA), Panophonic (USA), Death Valley Rally (USA), The Virgance (UK), Purple Bloom (Japan), Arirang (Italy), The Artificial Shadow Band (Puerto Rico), Kitsch (Panama), and Revolution, I love you (USA)

https://pateticorecordings.bandcamp.com/album/rock-back-for-nepal-vol-1

cover vol2 _RingMaster ReviewVOLUME 2 features

Malka (NYC-Peru), Asalto al Parque Zoologico (Argentina), Stella Diana (Italy), Chatham Rise (USA), Tape Runs Out (UK), Under the Wire (USA), Psiconautas (Puerto Rico), Car Crash Sisters (Mexico), Last Remaining Pinnacle (USA), The Narentines (Switzerland), Human Colonies (Italy), Sueño con belugas (Puerto Rico), Blackfeather Jane, Dead Parties (Spain-Australia), Estrella Oscura (UK), Mayflower Madame (Norway), and Los Sub (Argentina)

https://pateticorecordings.bandcamp.com/album/rock-back-for-nepal-vol-2

 

 

VOLUME 3 featuresCover vol 3 _RingMaster Review

Novanta (Italy), Lunar Twin (USA), Joaquim Barato (Portugal-Peru), Withershins (USA), Un-Reason (Italy), The Long Knives (USA), Lazarus (USA), Salvia (Chile), This Forever Sky (UK), Clarence Mayhew (USA), Corrosive Water (USA), Sonora Coisa (Brazil), The Paper Road (Portugal), Hijos de Paul (Argentina), Drass (Argentina), Cthulhu Martini (USA), Fovea (USA), Matotumba (Puerto Rico), Bergegas Mati (Indonesia), and Get Lost, Wire Avenue (Slovakia)

https://pateticorecordings.bandcamp.com/album/rock-back-for-nepal-vol-3

For more info go to http://www.patetico-recordings.com/

and https://www.facebook.com/events/1631368070440169/

 25/07/2015

Maff – Self Titled EP

banda_piso_RingMaster Review

It is not too hard to guess some of the bigger influences upon Chilean band Maff whilst listening to their self-titled debut EP, the likes of The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, and My Bloody Valentine amongst them, yet fair to say the Santiago quartet weaves it all into songs which reveal their own distinct characters. Bred from an evolving fusion of shoegaze, alternative rock, noise pop, and indie to try and pin down the mix, sound and songs are a striking and tenacious shimmer on the senses which it easy to find yourself getting a touch greedy over. The release is a captivating introduction to a band with all the potential and imagination to evoke a worldwide appetite if not now surely ahead.

Maff began in 2012, formed by Richi Gómez (vocals/bass/guitar) and Nicolás Colombres (drums), two childhood friends who had previously played together in various punk rock bands. The line-up expanded with the addition of Nicolás’ brother Martín (guitar) in 2014 and was completed earlier this year by Talo Correa (guitar/bass /vocals/synth). Creating, recording, and producing their EP in their own studio, Maff has already sparked potent reactions to their music, dreampop duo Ummagma already amongst those enamoured, recognition which should now ignite through the EP’s release. Exploring themes such as innocence, mysticism, true love, loss, drugs, freedom, and timelessness within its songs, the Maff EP is a sultry romance for ears but one unafraid to ignite an unpredictable blaze or two in sound and energy.

The EP opens with Act 1, a spatially atmospheric instrumental evolved from post punk and eighties alternative rock which swiftly brings the imagination to the boil with its evocative soundscape which is best described as Joy Division meets My Bloody Valentine. It is a dramatic and rousing start to the release, an incitement of dark rhythms and sonic exploration wrapped in vibrant freshness and familiarity.

Maff - Maff Cover Art_RingMaster Review     Its potent persuasion is followed by the just as invigorating Linger Around, a hearty stroll of riffs and beats which relaxes a touch but simultaneously increases its fiery atmosphere and dark shadows as the mellow effect lined vocals of Gómez step forward. That influence of The Jesus and Mary Chain is a spicy ingredient to the gripping incitement swiftly seducing ears, adding thick hues to a provocatively crafted blend of almost prowling dark tones and emotions aligned with melancholic beauty and shimmering resonance.

Walking On Fire slips in next on a slim and radiant melody, the simple coaxing soaked in childlike innocence and radiance. It is soon courted by pulsating beats and a darker celestial climate though as the song’s entrance increasingly captivates, the atmosphere and scenery becoming more inflamed and hazy respectively. Vocal harmonies are as much about texture as narrative here, more so in many ways as the song’s chorus revolves around bewitching singular repetition with the end result as all unite together, a magnetic piece of composing and enterprise which inspires body and mind from start to finish.

     A more indie toning comes with Million Year Picnic, the guitars exploring a richer creative clang against another enthralling lure of post punk seeded bass and crisp jabs of beats. Vocally and melodically the song still immerses in shoegaze imagination but its canvas has stronger clarity from clearer air for the craft and individual incitements of the band to weave their combined tapestries of temptation. The House of Love essence to the song just adds to its lure and sets up of ears nicely for the ethereal charm of Someday. Featuring guest vocals from Francisca Morandé alongside Gómez, the supernal seduction of the song’s warm balladry simply drifts over the senses, immersing ears in an electronically sizzling Lush like embrace.

A fuzzy courting of the senses with a deeply rooted growl comes next in the shape of You, its shapely and slightly scuzzy rock ‘n’ roll rumble toying with aggression and causticity whilst casting a sultry anthemic enticing. Its dirtier air is the perfect taster for the outstanding Planet Wave, an inventive maelstrom of garage and surf rock embroiled in a just as thrilling alignment of space and psychedelic revelry. It is the most exciting and exhilarating offering on the EP, standing out amidst a collection of tracks which are certainly not lacking in those resourceful traits either.

The release is finished off by the rhythmically forceful and sonically bracing Blue Seas. As all around it, varied strains of flavours combine to create an inviting web, though primarily the encounter is more indie rock with potent hues of rock, grunge, and electronic rock. Even if not whipping up the passions as much as other tracks, it is a highly satisfying ‘end’ to the EP, though the actual final track is a radio edit of Walking On Fire.

For a debut Maff makes a striking statement and as they and their sound evolve, it is probably safe to assume more and greater offerings and enjoyment are ahead.

The Maff EP is available now via http://maffmusica.bandcamp.com/album/maff-2

http://www.maffmusica.com/   https://www.facebook.com/maffmusica

RingMaster 07/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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