Kiev maybe the epicenter of massive civil unrest at the moment, but it is also the name of Ummagma’s new release, and ultimately a message of hope. The two-time Alternative Eurovision winners rise above the decay and mayhem encountered in Ukraine to embrace diversity and beauty, while taking their music in new directions.
Ummagma formed in Moscow in 2003 with Canadian Shauna McLarnon and Ukrainian Alexx Kretov 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 to soar above the music.
Despite heavy turmoil in Ukraine, Ummagma look 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. The outcome shows that what is the end for one person may be the start for another. Even more importantly, it shows that beauty can blossom even in the midst of ugliness.
The duo has received support from Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) and Malcolm Holmes (OMD), who have remixed tracks for forthcoming release.
This release is an impressive package featuring the original track ‘Kiev’ plus 9 remixes from 9 fantastic artists from as many countries, celebrating the splendour of the original composition in their own unique styles.
One of these remixers is José Luis Quezada Seguel, better known as Statickman, who is an indie dance, electro and nu-disco music producer based in Santiago, Chile who has preserved the beauty of Ummagma’s ‘Kiev’ whilst creating his own stunning soundscape. “With remixes, I let it flow from the voices or the melody of the original track” He explains. “I always try to run from original ideas and deliver new visions of their starting point.” Statickman defines his creative output as a journey through time in which he connects to modern music from a retro viewpoint, describing it as “the truest style of science fiction”.
For over 13 years, Statickman has been experimenting and translating his ideas by following in the best traditions of masters such as Giorgio Moroder, Yaz (Yazoo), Erasure, Kraftwerk, Patrick Cowley, Visage, Depeche Mode, and Jean Michel Jarre, with musical styles spanning from the 70s to the 90s. He strives to take his audiences along with him on his musical journeys. “Disco, electro, synth wave, some times with cyber punk touch, these are always gradual starting very dainty, trying to recreate an atmosphere full of good vibes and gradually come up till get a cruise speed that allows the audience to trip anywhere.”
Since 2012, Statickman has been extraordinarily prolific, releasing music through 8 different record labels, including Emerald & Doreen Recordings. This includes 2 LPs, 10 EPs and many remixes, the most notable one being for legendary nu-disco electro pioneer Alexander Robotnick.