What does a riddle wrapped in an enigma sound like? Well, it probably sounds a bit like dreampop duo Ummagma and their latest release Frequency (2015). They specialize in all things ambience and mystique with their music, giving progressively electronic indie rock a philosophical sound. Alexander Kretov and Shauna McLarnon’s paths first crossed in Moscow and now the Canadian-Ukrainian couple express a love for one another and for music that transcends borders and traditional sound.
Frequency (2015) is mellow in its execution, like every cooled-down song at the club drenched in a down-trodden blue neon light that shifts slowly. Like a quiet city that threatens to spring alive at any moment or a deep-sea wonderland, these tunes are calm but aren’t afraid to bare their teeth when needed. Kretov and McLarnon have a great command over synthetic and traditional instruments here.
This album comes with a lot of unexpected twists, like synthetic folk and electronic rock. More indie bands are exploring this route which usually detracts from the originality of blending the new and old methods of making music, but I think Ummagma really pulls it off and makes it their own. “Lama” is definitely their favourite song, with multiple renditions and remixes.
Support these two by checking out Frequency (2015) on their Bandcamp or Soundcloud page. If you like what you hear, check out what else they’re up to on their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @Ummagma.