I was recently notified of this excellent new release by Sounds of Sputnik, which features Ummagma – a very talented band whose great music has been featured on this blog before. Ummagma are also good people who provide encouragement for other artists. The album came out on August 25th, and the excellent album New Born can be ordered on Amazon. Check out some of the SoundCloud and YouTube links before and read more info on the bands and other musicians they worked with to create it!
Release Date: August 25, 2014 on Ear To Ear Records
New Born, the debut album from Moscow’s Sounds of Sputnik, is a kaleidoscope of reverb-soaked guitar, calculated drums, thick bass, and angular guitars intertwined with ethereal vocals. This is extraordinary noise-pop, with layered harmonies, interlacing synth and distorted guitars. Sounds of Sputnik paired up with Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma to co-write, produce, and record this album, to be released on UK label Ear to Ear Records. Ummagma’s Shauna McLarnon and Alexx Kretov both contribute solid warming vocals.This project leans heavily on a shared love of melodic dream pop, post-rock and shoegaze with each member bringing their own influences: aspects of Lush, Curve, My Bloody Valentine and No Joy cleverly blend with Hammock, Jesus & Mary Chain and The Twilight Sad to create remarkable “dream noise”.
Rewind about 12 years ago. Roman, Shauna and Alexx were collaborating a bit until Shauna and Alexx left Russia. After losing contact for an entire decade, the three finally reunited last year and quickly beginning to work on new material. This release is a timely show of beauty in the face of the current ugly situation occurring between Ukraine and Russia.
New Born features 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 (Zapreshennie Barabanshiki), and Brazil’s Mind Movies. British producer Marc Joy (Primal Scream, Oasis, Bernard Butler of Suede, Mike Peters, Golden Fable) provided mastering support.Both bands have been steadily developing a strong international following, partly due to their impeccable ability to blend genres. “In an orbit of their own, they are gathering followers like stardust” (Nerdy Frames).
About Sounds of Sputnik:Moscow-based Sounds of Sputnik is Roma Kalitkin, whose signature sound mixes post-rock, shoegaze and dream pop with a slight kickback to noise pop. Originally from Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia, he draws inspiration from My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain, Ride, Sonic Youth, Happy Mondays, and Slowdive. Dubbing himself a “white crow”, the music he makes has always gone against trends within Russia, both now as a solo artist and for the 20-odd years he played in various post-punk and shoegaze bands prior to that.
About Ummagma:Ummagma began in Moscow in 2003, but finally released two LPs (Ummagma & Antigravity) in 2012. They recently released the single Rotation and Lama LP on Emerald & Doreen Recordings. Ummagma has had a full-page feature in Rolling Stone Russia, has won Alternative Eurovision competitions for 2 years in a row (Amazing Radio & Pure 107.8 FM), and received 2 awards at the 2013 Australian Independent Music Video Awards. Ummagma has also caught the attention of Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) and Malcolm Holmes (OMD), who have remixed tracks for fall 2014 release.
Label:Ear to Ear Records was founded in Wales in 2013. Specialising in dream pop, shoegaze, and indie rock, the label originally began with local bands, such as Lights That Change and Indigo Sky. It soon grew to also include several bands from Europe/ North America, such as Ummagma and Sounds of Sputnik. This month, Ear to Ear also released an EP by Lights That Change.
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