Tuesday 19 November 2013

Ummagma - Rotation/Live And Let Die

Single review by tatjana@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

The dreamy output of Alexx Kretov and Shauna McLarnon seems to be endlessly likened to the nineties riches that bands like Curve, Lush and the Cocteau Twins gave. Certainly there isn't a lot to compare them to in this decade - there's no "look at me" noughties pop caterwauling behind Ukrainian/Canadian duo Ummagma, just soft pastel textures almost buried behind the amplifiers. 'Rotation' is the first on the double A-side single release, a very sweet play no favourites marketing tool that aims to preview several upcoming 2014 releases. Thankfully the distraction of the initial (almost unbearable) siren build-up dies off and you are left with a discernible riff that drifts into the place between aimless drives at dusk and train station reflections. It gave off the surf rock strains of classic Pixies with a deeply embedded Kim Deal lilt.

The film clip is a multi-photo affair (featuring footage from French filmmaker Bulle Plexiglass's film 'The End') and reinforces the subtle complexities of this finely layered genre that often has to fight the urge to merely be indistinguishable background hum. 'Live And Let Die' is bolder and more wide awake, with the images of butterflies swallowing factory emissions a perfect embodiment of their quest to blanket a seedy urban alley with flowers while still acknowledging the gritty street art beneath.

Ummagma's website

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