Saturday 13 February 2016

Ulrika Spacek - The Album Paranoia

Article by Del Chaney

Formed in Berlin but now residing in London, Rhys Edwards and Rhys Williams, aka Ulrika Spacek, began their tentative first steps in what would be a two-year journey to finish their debut album entitled 'The Album Paranoia back in 2014. Employing the help of three skilled musicians and friends, they embarked on sonic journey that would reap them immense rewards. With a sound that swerves between alt-rock and krautrock whilst taking a trip through downright fuzzed-up, lo-fi brilliance, Ulrika Spacek create hazy, impressive soundscapes that are sonically worthy of your ears. 'The Album Paranoia' was officially released via 'Tough Love Records (EU) and Lefse Records (USA) back on the 5th February 2016.

The album opens up with 'I Don't Know', a fuzzy, swirling, triumphant track that loops and arcs through addictive reverberating guitars intertwined with glorious psych-tinged effects and a steadying drum progression that holds that stunning vocal aloft like a king sitting atop a mountain of golden sound. Track two, 'Porcelain', oozes alt-rock splendour with whirling repetitive guitars and another impressive vocal performance. 'Circa 1954' lives in a beautiful, shimmering, experimental ambient world, while 'Strawberry Glue' jangles and struts like a sonic peacock before opening up into a glorious fuzzy alternative masterpiece. Track five, 'Beta Male', stands up there with some of the great modern day psych tracks. Reminiscent at times of Fuzz Club Records' own 'Throw Down Bones' with its hypnotic, swirling maelstrom of sound that builds into a fuzzy, multifaceted sonic whirlwind. 'Beta Male' is probably my favourite track on this entire release. Very cool! Up next,'NK' is a slow but sludgy psych-tinged monster with a lazy Sub Pop styled effected vocal line and a very impressive break that builds and builds forever.

We're back on a subtle alt-rock vibe with 'Ultra-Vivid'. This track is full of melodic melancholy with beautifully intricate guitar lines, gorgeous synth swells and an effortlessly striped-back vocal take. 'She's A Cult' screams "Radiohead" from its very first distorted chord structure, while 'There's A Little Passing Cloud In You' shakes the sonic ether with is psychedelic flavourings, dripping with repetitive guitars, a throbbing bass line and a brilliant drum progression that collectively leads us into a false sense of security before opening up and exploding into a massive cacophony of sound. The album's closer, 'Airportism', is reminiscent of latter day Radiohead with its beautifully delicate vocal lines accompanied by that addictively melodic guitar progression and a lazy drum pattern. A perfect finale to an overall impressive debut album. Recommended listening for fans of MBV, Television, Pavement, Sonic Youth, Radiohead and Deerhunter.

Ulrika Spacek's website

Buy: 'The Album Paranoia'

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