About 10 years ago I had a pretty terrible year. A lot of people thought they knew what was wrong with me & also thought they knew how to "fix" me, but they all turned out to be wrong.
I wrote this in October 2017. Originally it was going to be a lighhearted song about someone I know who used to carry around two bags everywhere they went, one of them a "go bag." In world news, Russia was expelling diplomats, North Korea had tested a nuclear bomb, almost 1000 people were shot in Las Vegas by one gunman, so it became something else, a love song for lovers in a time of fear.
All your big dreams, you can't go wrong. Get fit with the AC on... [more inside]
She's a spy, a good one too. Speciality — sneaking up on you... [more inside]
Chin up. Keep acting like you've got it made. We both know you ain't. You're laughing but it's true. [more inside]
All this time, dipping your fingers in my bowl... [more inside]
I miss the lazy rock of the 90's. Lean into the derivative. [more inside]
the latest experiment in creativity...
Based on the John Maus version of Molly Nilsson's original.
A song about alternative histories and intangible futures.
Alternative rock, 3 chapters, mix in progress, would appreciate any comments which I'd try to implement in the mix. [more inside]
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!
Music seems to 'feel' so much better when you sit back and just listen to music, without thinking about the pigeon-holes that have been slapped on a song or even your own temptation to categorize it into this or that genre. This is something I've always believed but recently it occurred that the same goes for the song-writing process. Much better to feel free of genre-related limitations. This Ummagma track was one such track that was written free of the need to pigeon-hole. [more inside]
A song from my new acoustic band Love Monkee, from our set at the His Lai Buddhist Temple last month. Special thanks to drlith, who translated the chorus for me in this AskMe. Video of the last half of the set. [more inside]
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]
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]
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.
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.
My friend Jimmy wrote the lyrics and chord changes, we had a drummer friend come in and lay down a groove and I did the rest of the instrumentation, recording and mix down. Enjoy
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]
Sonic Youth has been a big influence on many modern-day bands and Ummagma is definitely one of them, as is evident from one listen to "Back to You". The hazy gazey sounds here build into a kind of intentional dreamscape. [more inside]
I haven't written a song in a while (or it feels too long to me at least). This is just some more guitar rock with a hint of electronic programming. It fits the mood I'm in mostly. Two days lefts to go until I start my three week holiday. I've been working full-time without a vacation for about 2 1/2 years. I need a break...
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 ;)
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 think this may be one of my favorite things I've done guitar-wise. I started out with a very basic chord progression and just played out as many variations of that as I could think of and then took my favorites and combined them into a simple quiet/loud dynamic. [more inside]
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]
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.
I was going to "throw this one away but instead I spent like 8 hours on trying to make it better and still didn't really get where I was going. It was one of those nights when I just couldn't get inspired or the magic wasn't happening. But struggling as I was, I still felt it was kind of fun and thought I'd go ahead and share. [more inside]
I'm trying to come up with vocals for this one and really struggling tonight. I had an idea, which was to just use pitch correction. I actually kind of liked it. At the risk of sounding like kanye west, i think it helped me get the melodies from my head onto the track without me immediately deleting it. I think maybe I'll use it as a guide track to get a usable take.
I let a few people hear this before (both here and elsewhere) and they all wanted a mix with higher vocals (despite the fact that I've assured everyone the vocals were total rubbish). So I've re-mixed it and re-mastered and now you might be able to hear my voice. If you still can't understand me, I've included the very depressing lyrics below. [more inside]
Just another instrumental rock song. A few more electronic elements added in this time but overall, still very much guitar based.
Another attempt at songwriting. Unfortunately the vocals were so bad I almost deleted them. Instead I just backgrounded them.
When a musician, who has self-recorded and mixed everything (brilliant) he (she) has ever put out, eventually takes to creating a remix, the output can be somewhat spectacular. That is what happened when San Francisco shoegaze darkwave wonderkind Jane Woodman jumped into her very first remix for Ummagma 'Lama'. Hope you enjoy the output.
I used to have to commute through rush-hour traffic. You spend a lot of time thinking or zoning out when your car is not moving very fast.
The last song of the project formally known as Old Ship Arcadia.... [more inside]
Another one from the afore mentioned project from a few years ago. Not quite up to my current standards but I like the energy in this one anyway.
This is obviously kind of an experiment...or in other words, it's a bit of a mess. [more inside]
I was feeling another bunch of unsettled feelings so I thought I better do another discordant, frustration-venting song. [more inside]
Very hesitant to let anyone hear this one. [more inside]
What might be the outcome of taking a rather dreamy pulse-based trance inducing track, stripping it back, adding an addictive disco electronic undertone and phasing ghost-like vocals here and there (and rather rare)…? Have a listen and then you will know :)
I thought I'd try to write something more upbeat. I couldn't think of a vocal melody so I just filled it with different guitar parts.
Powerful swirling and driving full sonic force, enveloped in a mishmash of postrock, shoegaze, and noise rock. [more inside]
just a rock song (instrumental). I played around a lot with some organs and synths but still guitar based overall...
Imagine a dream that entails a strange melange of light and dark and translate that into sonic form, albeit with angelic vocals. That is what this song represents. [more inside]
I was in a very heavy mood the night before last so I decided to write a heavy song. I don't think I've tried to write something quite like this before. [more inside]