I've been cranking out a lot of songs almost involuntarily lately and many of them seem to sort into a genre I think of as "Tragicomic Americana," a traditional mode of American blues, country, and folk songwriting that ruminates on heartbreaks and losses exaggerated to such dramatic extremes, the effect becomes darkly comic, like Hank Williams's "There's a Tear in my Beer," for example. Well, FWIW, here's my latest attempt to make a minor contribution to that grand tradition... [more inside]
This is a lo-fi demo of a new song I wrote recently. It was an experiment in seeing what I could sketch out with the least effort just using my phone. I doubled and harmonized with my own vocals in the chorus, but didn't have any multitracking software on my phone to do it, so I used a freeware app that let me record and mix a second vocal as input to the waveform of my original performance. [more inside]
Another acoustic song! I'm really digging this thing where I limit myself to two strings, probably because I'm lazy.
We're cheating slightly, as I've already uploaded a version of this song. But hopefully everyone will agree that it sounds a whole lot better. Plus we've added some (discrete) synth parts and have even gone to the trouble of making a video. More tunes on our Soundcloud.
I've been listening to a lot of riot grrl and wrote this for a friend
This mp3 was converted from a video I made, recording stereo audio straight into my phone. It's a rough draft with minimal instrumentation and arrangement I'm hoping to develop further with a group that recently started coming together called The Wishing Well Divers. [more inside]
The road trip song - a galloping guitar ramble underpinned by soaring synth strings. By Sredni Vashtar
Inspired by the Adam Curtis documentary, recorded with a variety of gear and 'mastered' using LANDR.
The first track off of my new album with Teen Mom, called Groovy, that we released today. [more inside]
What a difference a few months makes. The original has been reworked and extended and was recorded live a few days ago on the London stage (the Alleycat in Denmark Street). A song by Sredni Vashtar.
Two of my favourite bands in the world are Stereolab and Cocteau Twins and another band whose music I find greatly inspiring is Pink Floyd. This song is a pure project of this triangular love for these three bands. Enjoy!
An experiment in writing songs without choruses. [more inside]
Somewhere between Show of Hands and the Mountain Goats, we find this story of a man in a boat off the coast of Cornwall, drunk, armed and fearful. [more inside]
Short and sweet. A song about aeroplanes overhead with minimal vocals. Live rehearsal recording by Sredni Vashtar
When you live in a country where something called a 'melting pot' falls into play, you sometimes don't detect marked differences in sounds and influenced within the larger meld of rock music (maybe it's a little clearer for pop music - I'm not sure)... In any case, here is one track created at the foothills of Ukraine's Carpathian mountains... You may hear a distinct Carpathian whistle and even gamma in this song. I think it gives the song a distinct and tasteful 'ethnic' flavour. This is 'BFD' by Ummagma and I hope you will enjoy it.
Some of the most inspiring music out there focuses on the positive elements of humankind and society, blah blah blah. But there comes a time when even musicians' gearing towards that tendency get fed up and write something outside of their 'regular' thematic 'boundaries'. This seems to be the case with this Ummagma song. Enjoy and visit the band on Facebook...
There is one thing that I really admire in certain artists and that is flexibility. I love it when a band can perform across a spectrum of genres and especially when they manage to pull it off well. Starting out with Ummagma's Balkanofellini, which seems appropriately named when you envision those awesome soundtracks to all of Federico Fellini's films (by Nino Rota), combined with all the Balkan eclecticism of Emir Kusturica's films (soundtrack by Goran Bregović). Well there you have it. A hybrid. Thought you might also like a few quick offerings of other Ummagma tracks, so here is Human Factora">, Risky, NIMBY, and Upsurd, Orion, BFD and Outside
When Sonic Youth surprised the whole world by pulling off the most amazing cover of a song by The Carpenters ever (I couldn't really fathom listening to any of the originals, to tell the truth), who would've thought what a big impact their version of 'Superstar' would have had. Still to this day, this songs is constantly referenced whenever people speak about Sonic Youth. Here's presenting one track with a similar vibe. 'Back to You' by Ummagma [more inside]
My friends and I have been playing together for a few years, we get a couple shows each year here in minneapolis. We recorded a few of the new songs, this one is a straight ahead pop song
Let's throw in a juxtaposition in sonic terms just for the sake of diversity. Here is a free download of Ummagma 'Titry', alongside one right here for 'Live and Let Die'. The first is an instrumental folky track somewhat like Peter, Bjorn and John's 'Young Folks' crossed with Tortoise (with their more upbeat side of postrock). The second is also upbeat in the best shoegazey dreamy fashion - but with ethereal yet solid vocals... Enjoy both :) [more inside]
A cover of the MGMT song. Just me on vocals, guitar, and bass. Inspired by a recording I have of Ben Lee playing this song live. [more inside]
We made an EP.... here's the title track. Featuring Sredni Vashtar's usual swirls and loops and noises, it was one of four songs recorded and mixed late last summer in South London [more inside]
Where does one genre begin and another one stop? I'm asking myself the very same question every time I hear that this song is indie or pop rock or folk rock or dream pop. Well, whatever one calls it, I hope you enjoy this. [more inside]
My Christmas card to you all.
The first track from my solo album month attempt, my first track in a long time.
It's all in the lyrics with this song, though I think the tone of the music gives away quite a lot too. Indie rock with a progressive dreampop edge. Short and sweet :) This is our Ummagma - findable for search-happy folks at www.facebook.com/ummagma [more inside]
Psychedelica as embodied in music is not always about rowdy trippy cagey delivery and a catchy spacey or 'wow' riff…. sometimes psychedelica can drift unassumingly into the realm of melancholia, which is where this Ummagma song firmly rests. [more inside]
So much music, so little time. Even in the mind of the remixer, likely that expression would sound something like "So many remix options, so little time"… which is why we're lucky there are so many different great remixers in this world (yes, there certainly are a lot of terrible ones too)… But here we have a wonderful remix by Brazil's Mind Movies of Ummagma's track 'Lama'. Certainly do hope you will enjoy this vision too.
OK - not exactly a sing-along and not exactly the kind of song you can imagine a sing-along happening to, but there is something to be said for the harmony established between two voices in a song, even if they are not singing in tandem. This is, indeed, one of those songs where I think that kind of love-in has been achieved, at least sonically.
A mix of cultures often results in something beautiful - interesting art, world views, beautiful babies and intriguing music. And you don't have to be from either of those cultures to appreciate how wonderful this can be. This song represents a melange of two cultural infusions - from Canada and Ukraine. This is Ummagma. Enjoy. [more inside]
We finally got around to re-recording White Light Music Night. The original version is here. [more inside]
If psychedelic space rock can be sparkly, this song would be the epitome of that dynamic.. Or shimmery or glistening or whatever. Glitter is in the eye of the beholder.
Here's a song that was posted a couple years ago of but is now all shiny and new and properly recorded. [more inside]
I took a four week vacation, partly with the intention of recording some vocals for my many instrumental tracks. However I spent the whole holiday learning web development and getting drunk in the evenings and recalling fonder memories of times past... I only managed to record vocals one day for about 4 hours and it was almost a total loss. I only managed to get a single line down really. I wrote more lyrics but the takes for those were unusable. Well, here it is for better or worse with the single line repeating over and over on a loop... [more inside]
Words can only be twisted so many ways, but the same words can sound to a host of melodies. That's what happens when you dabble in the world of remixes too, such as this one by Ummagma. Really impressed with the transformation from the original track. [more inside]
After spending a few years rehearsing and making rough and ready demos, Sredni Vashtar finally made it into a real studio last month. Here's one of them - the mix is still a bit rough so it works best on headphones. [more inside]
Nice little short story song. Ten points to whoever can guess the famous dysfunctional family first! I've been trying to write this song for a year, and then it poured out of me today all at once. Could definitely use a little feedback on how it came out. [more inside]
This is a guitar-only outtake from another song I did. I was going to use it as a outro on that song but the original clocked in a 9 minute time already so it got discarded. But still, I like the feeling of it...especially as it's guitar with no other instruments ;)
Punked up waltz about how to avoid bedbugs. Still a little iffy on how the vocals are mixed. Thoughts? [more inside]
I was really happy with this one when I first recorded it about 19 months ago. Listening to it now, I realise it was given way too much compression in the mastering phase. unfortunately I have lots the master project now with a faulty hard drive so it it what it is... [more inside]
Another combination of Guitar vs. Keyboards. Guitar gets the first move this time.
just a guitar riff I've been working on. Not sure where to take it exactly.
Feeling a bit down tonight so I went looking through my projects and tried to fix up old throw away songs. This is one that's not too bad. An idea I hadn't quite fleshed out instrumentally. But why not throw on some improve vocals to make it feel more whole?
I recall watching John Waters movies in my teenage years and always thinking, THIS is the soundtrack to not only my but millions of people's teenage years. Well, this song is the soundtrack to a peaceful blissful moment, based on the moment when it was created, every time I hear it. Hope you will also enjoy.
When the radiant bliss of classical music comes to enter the realm of dream pop ambient downtempo, something serene yet pensive may be the result, as in the case of this track. Initially when we composed this track, there were lyrics and vocals, but then our computer blew and somehow the vocals didn't survive. Today it is an instrumental.
So...I didn't think I'd have time to work on a new song but the last 24 hours have freed up so... [more inside]
Since music is a powerful force capable of evoking an endless array of images to one's mind, this represents just the diverse dynamic space, vocal free, to be a canvass for whatever the listener can dream up. This is for dreaming, after all :)
Fusion confusion. The meshing of musical genres found in this Ummagma track represent a fusion, reflecting the confusion that is so commonplace nowadays in this world - simply absurd and rising. Hence the name Upsurd.
Imagine if you could depict a season through music. This track would be somewhere between the blossoming bliss of spring and the hazy threshold of summer, when you are just itching to dance your butt off. This is indietronic.