The evolution of a song. How a shimmering instrumental evolved... [more inside]
We're trying to release a song a month this year and are kicking things off with 'Ten'. [more inside]
An instrumental song sketch from a couple of years ago. [more inside]
A song that dates back many years and many arrangements. [more inside]
A stab at epic, guitar-based pop by our band Sredni Vashtar, with a (very unauthorised) guest appearance from Winona Ryder in the middle eight. [more inside]
What a difference (or not) six years makes. 'A New Flame' is, well, a new version of our earlier song, simply entitled 'Flame'. [more inside]
This one clatters along at a breakneck pace. Recorded about four years but I just felt the urge to throw a bit more guitar into the mix. Sredni Vashtar is a three piece that gigs occasionally in South London.
50 years of queer revolution. Capitol Hill in Seattle was alive tonight. This is my love song to all my queer family. Listen in your most private loving spaces. I love you all so much it hurts.
Another fuzzy, rather lo-fi outing for Sredni Vashtar... [more inside]
So a few months I uploaded the original demo of this song, lamenting that we'd never get close to its character. [more inside]
Space has long been a stimulator for creative outlet in nearly every sphere of human activity, music being no exception. In this track, it is clearly front and centre, whether it for you brings an association with the cosmos or you internal realm. Happy listening.
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]
Dream dripping floating melting flying… All of these are feelings that might come to mind if you close your eyes while listening to this current track. Somewhere between the mellowest of Pink Floyd and the catchiest bit of Billy Bragg, I hope you'll enjoy Ummagma 'Colors'. [more inside]
This is one of those "let's drift away" songs... hazy gazey spacey and dreamy all in one… If one is prone to daydreaming or aural hypnosis, this may not be the song for you :) Just the same, this is definitely worth a listen to all others. This is Sounds of Sputnik.
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.
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]
I think many people are innately inventive and many are even thrifty. When you combine the two elements with a worthy musical piece, it's amazing how many different kinds of incarnations that you can dream up for it, taking on a life of its own, so to speak. But when you start comparing one remix against another, sometimes lines tend to blur and it becomes more challenging to distinguish what has been taken from the original version and what has been newly added. It's at that point that I always end up returning to the original. This 'Lama' is that original track - a point of reference now and especially at the time it was written.
When you dig the original of a song so much that you can't imagine how anybody could possibly ever dissect it and re-embody it in an alternate format, sometimes you are pleasantly surprised when indeed someone comes along who capably does just that - with flair, good taste and a handful of cards up their sleeve, dealt ever so cleverly within the remix they have created. That's what we're talking about with this Sounds of Sputnik take on Ummagma's 'Lama'.
In the spirit of "Superstar" by legendary art-punk band Sonic Youth (who were covering The Carpenters chart-breaking track), here is 'Back to You'. Sonically similar, but content-wise very different. No superstar imagery from the perspective of a groupie here. Just some self-searching and hopefully grounding elements. [more inside]
Sometimes a song's strength lies in its lyrics or in the nuances of the vocalist's delivery and tembre… Sometimes the instrumentation speaks volumes all on its own. This is one of those times… This is Ummagma. [more inside]
This is one of the better (at least one of the favourite) Ummagma tracks out there to date and currently the subject of a whack of forthcoming remixes. Stay tuned! [more inside]
Four chords, a guitar loop and loping drums. Trying to keep things simple for once. More here.
Late night and off-kilter, a love song for the otherwise apathetic. Recorded at rehearsal in South London by Sredni Vashtar and then (lightly) polished. One day we'd like to record this properly (do the vocals properly for example). One day. [more inside]
Some songs take you on a trip (and bring you back), while others just send you drifting endlessly and blissfully. For us, this song belongs to the latter, building layers of layers of sound and effects - like new galaxies being opened. [more inside]
Another venture into songwriting from our band, radiateur. This one is a Frankenstein song comprising of riffs and motifs written over the years and assembled at leisure. [more inside]
If you were to roll up some element of Brian Eno, Robert Fripp and Bill Nelson, and paint it with a slight shoegaze ethereal hue, this might be what you would get… Enjoy this Ummagma track! [more inside]
When a band "dances" on the border between 6 or more musical genres and one of them happens to be progressive rock, the listener is often in for a delightful surprise. Hopefully this song qualifies as one of them. This is "Outside" by Ummagma. [more inside]
This instrumental explores not only ambiences and walls-of-sound seemingly inspired directly by cosmic travels, but also features electronics, samples, drones, and beautifully melodies peppered with a lot of dissonance, creating sonic tapestries perfectly suited for reflecting, reading an Arthur C. Clarke (or Isaac Asimov) book and taking a journey through the stars. This is Sounds of Sputnik.
Space rock is a term that is often over-used for various psychrock tunes, but it is dead on for this track from Sounds of Sputnik. Or space post-rock or even space post-rock shoegaze. Looking forward to your take on that.
A love for the golden 4AD era, Pink Floyd and the likes of David Sylvian have all been woven into the thread of this music. "Lama" was both inspired by these bands and reflects their contribution to a new generation of musicmakers. Looking forward, but knowing where our roots lie… I sincerely hope you will all enjoy this Ummagma track. [more inside]
It's funny how sometimes it takes all but a few minutes to write a song, while the development of another song can really stretch out. This was one of those stretches - "Risky" was a song that was written "in chunks" - the basic instrumental bit was written in Kyiv, Ukraine before a big move to western Ukraine and then to Canada, where the rest was written & recorded before finally being dragged back to Ukraine, where it was properly mixed and mastered. The time span from start to finish: 5 years. All that moving around was us, by the way, not just the tracks bouncing around in cyber space. Thus is the history of this track. I'm posting the lyrics too if anyone wants to have a go at them or "sing along" …. yeah, right… any feedback is welcome. Peace. [more inside]
the trip ends on a freeway to the moon and everything gets very strange [more inside]
the trip continues ... [more inside]
more trippiness ... [more inside]
sheer space-assed craziness - first of 4 suites, all old and new stuff smushed together - it gets trippier as it goes on [more inside]
Krautrock meets Kanterbury in a Manuel Gottsching/Steve Hillage collision. Prettiness ensues...
A little noisy, a little groovy. It's got breakbeats, wailing guitars and nasty feedback. It reminds me of a cross between Moby and Flying Saucer Attack, hence the name. There are a lot of interesting automation things going on here.