‘Kiev – The Remixes’ – A New Album From Canadian/Ukrainian Duo Ummagma‏

October 17, 2014


Kiev Remixes
Emerald & Doreen Recordings
31 October 2014

RIYL: Stereolab, Curve, Cocteau Twins, Broadcast, Everything But The Girl, Dubstar

Formed in Moscow in 2003, Canadian Shauna McLarnon and Ukrainian Alexx Kretov have been consistently writing and recording music whilst living between Ukraine and Canada. Shauna’s delicate airy gossamer-like vocals hold glimmers of Cocteau Twins, Stereolab, The Sundays, Curve, Lush, and Slowdive.  Alexx’s guitar, vocals, synths, beats and programming create cinematic soundscapes with elements of Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Bill Nelson and Brian Eno, enabling the listener soar above the music.

Ummagma debuted with 2 simultaneous LPs (‘Antigravity’ and ‘Ummagma’) in 2012. They’ve built on the success of those records by collaborating with Moscow’s Sounds of Sputnik on their ‘New Born’ LP, which will be released by UK label Ear to Ear Records on November 21st 2014.

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.

Despite heavy turmoil in Ukraine, Ummagma are showing a solid footing, looking forward to a brighter future for Eastern Europe. In ‘Kiev’, this Canadian-Ukrainian team celebrates their freedoms, exploring the root of today’s problems to create beauty in the face of hostility.

‘Kiev’ is the capital of Ukraine and the epicenter of massive civil unrest this year, but with this release of the same name, Ummagma rise above the decay and mayhem encountered in that country to embrace diversity and beauty, while taking their music in new directions. ‘Kiev’ is a essentially message of hope.

This release is an impressive package featuring the original track ‘Kiev’ plus 9 remixes from 9 fantastic artists 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.

Emerald & Doreen Recordings is a German boutique record label for futuristic indie, chill & dance music, curated by dedicated audiophile music makers and lovers who pride themselves on selecting the most exciting original material they can find, engaging the services of the most innovative remixers.  Emerald & Doreen Recordings released Ummagma’s ‘Rotation/Live and Let Die’ single in December 2013, followed by the ‘Lama’ extended EP in late May 2014.

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