How do you make a good song better? It’s not a trick question. You bring in Fran Ashcroft, of course! This song literally got amped up a notch, and that’s a good thing. With a pounding backbeat and smooth as silk melodies, “Light Scheme” takes the dreamy rhythm of shoegaze and really makes it their own. In the best way possible!
About ‘Light Scheme (Fran Ashcroft Remix)’
Russia’s Sounds of Sputnik is releasing their single ‘Light Scheme (Fran Ashcroft Remix)’ from their debut LP ‘New Born’ feat. Ummagma, which also gets a re-release in early May through hallmark U.S. shoegaze label Moon Sounds Records. UK producer Fran Ashcroft, widely known for his work in the psych rock scene, has also worked with Damon Albarn (Blur) and Lords of Acid. The single comes with a smashing new video, produced and directed by Latvia/UK experimental filmmaker Dariy Karyakin and featuring actors Nadine Andreeva and Egon Skakun.
Dariy Karyakin has previously produced for David Lynch pet fave Nocturne Blue, has been praised by 6-time Emmy Winner Dutch Rall, and recently joined former Underworld consultant Yannick Joubert as part of the international Krinum Art and Design team. He is devoted to making music videos and short films, for which he has earned various awards and honours.
The ‘New Born’ LP presents a palette of ethereal guitar, powerful drums, lush bass, and clever guitars, topped off with gossamer female vocals. Sounds of Sputnik paired up with Canadian-Ukrainian dreampop duo Ummagma to co-write, produce, and record this album. Ummagma’s Shauna McLarnon and Alexx Kretov also both contribute stunning vocals.
Rooted in a shared love of melodic dream pop, post-rock and shoegaze, both Sounds of Sputnik and Ummagma bring their own influences from Lush, Curve, Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine, together with Hammock, Jesus & Mary Chain and The Twilight Sad to create briliant “dream noise”.
The ‘New Born’ LP also features contributions by several legendary guests: drummer Graham Bonnar (Swervedriver/ Brian Jonestown Massacre) on ‘Overdrive’, and remixes by Malcolm Holmes (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark), psych rock producer Fran Ashcroft (Damon Albarn, Lords of Acid), Russian producers Morozov and Oleg Mezherovsky, and Brazil’s Mind Movies. British producer Marc Joy (Lights That Change, Primal Scream, Oasis, Bernard Butler, Mike Peters, Golden Fable) provided mastering support.
“Working on the SOS remix was a real pleasure, and very straightforward – I just did what the song asked me to, no fixes or additions; everything was there, and in truth was already captured very well. I kind of ran with that and just changed the focus a little,” explains Fran Ashcroft. “When something comes along like this, that’s so well put together, the challenge is not to mess up what’s already right, and keep the integrity of the song intact”
“The lyrics are about the crappy situation we’ve gotten ourselves into as a society – and for us as individuals too, and a hopeful way out of this,” explains Shauna McLarnon of Ummagma. “This song could have remained a YouTube instrumental non-sensation forever if it weren’t for the addition of lyrics and vocals, but I did have in mind that optimism of years past when we really believed we were moving forward. We were clearly on the same wavelength,” says Roman Kalitkin of Sounds of Sputnik.
About Sounds of Sputnik:
Sounds of Sputnik is headed by Roman Kalitkin, whose signature sound mixes post-rock, shoegaze and dream pop with a slight kickback to noise pop. He draws inspiration from My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain, Ride, Sonic Youth, Happy Mondays, and Slowdive. In 2014, Sounds of Sputnik received a Jagermeister Indie Music Award in the ‘Young Blood’ category and an award for Best East European Video at the 2014 Independent Music Video Awards in Australia. ‘New Born’ also remained in the CMJ Charts for a massive 7 weeks, the first time this has been achieved by a Russian indie artist. Current members: Roman Kalitkin, Oleg Luzhetsky, Dmitriy Bobrinev, Anastasia Berezovskaya, Almaz Gaifutdinov.
Ummagma began in Moscow in 2003, but have been living between Canada and Ukraine since then. They established themselves as a permeating force on the underground music scene after simultaneously releasing two critically-acclaimed albums in 2012. Their latest ‘Frequency’ EP, released in December 2015, features contributions by Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins), Malcolm Holmes (OMD) and Lights That Change. Ummagma won the Alternative Eurovision on Britain’s Amazing Radio in 2013, has picked up numerous Independent Music Video Awards, held in the Scottish New Music Chart for nearly a year, and has received press and airplay in over 50 countries, including Rolling Stone Russia. They are currently collaborating with legendary dreampop artist A.R. Kane on new music for release later in 2016.
“A kaleidoscope of reverb-soaked guitar, intricate drums, heavy bass and distorted guitars intertwined with ethereal vocals” – Louder Than War
“A musical masterpiece!… a musical match made in heaven… A must-have album for anyone who adores everything good about the Electronic, Post Rock, Dreampop & Shoegazing genres” – Primal Music Blog
“Transcends physical and political boundaries to make sonic nu-dreamscapes” – Impose Magazine
“A sonic feast that might come from a collaboration between say Slowdive and the Cocteau Twins” – Canadian Music Blog
“A perfect match of pristine vocals with the alternative rock stylings of Swervedriver. Graham Bonnar’s drumming is unmistakeable here” – Stereo Embers Magazine
“A lush, dreamy backing of guitars, moody piano, and distant drum work that creates a sense of grandiosity” – Sounds Better With Reverb
“A quite satisfying clash of genres without just sticking to one simple direction. There’s something in there for every fan of shoegaze as well as for those of you who love the enigmatic work of M83” – Nothing But Hope and Passion
“A stunner, it sounds so full, with some incredible vocals from Shauna McLarnon of Ummagma. It’s such a unique sound I’m not sure I can even classify it as shoegaze” – The Revue