Ummagma – ‘Frequency’ EP

Chilled out and spiritual

Ummagma - Frequency (cover)
It’s rare that you can describe listening to a release as a spiritual experience. But it’s an unavoidable description for Ummagma’s latest EP, ‘Frequency’.

The EP is alive with ethereal synths that dissipate into your being, dreamy vocals that drift into your consciousness and, in terms of chill, is the musical equivalent of sticking 18 ice cubes down your underwear. Serious chill.

While big on the electronic sounds that form a digital undercurrent to the band’s dreampop, there’s more than just a lush electronic relaxation on the EP. Comfortable in their approach, Ummagma close (technically) with ‘Ocean Girl’ – a song which is largely led by acoustic guitar, offering a strange psychedelic vibe that feels a little bit like Fountains Of Wayne’s ‘Supercollider’ (or most late Oasis songs). It’s a shock contrast to the rest of the EP, especially given that it is directly preceded by the highly electronic and entirely instrumental ‘Galacticon’.

What this shows is that Ummagma are still willing to surprise, even on a release that is largely easy-listening chillwave. ‘Frequency’ crosses the border between relaxation and out-of-body spiritualism, with music that is more an art form than unit-shifting pop – but with an underlying sense of that too.

Three remixes of second track ‘Lama’ line up the EP’s back end, including a remix from Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie. But it’s Mal Holmes’ OMD remix that grabs the attention the most. A fantastic repurpose to a late night beat makes the ideal remix for Ummagma, proving their art still has it.

‘Frequency’ is released on November 13. You can also read a review of Ummagma’s collaboration with Sounds of Sputnik, ‘Overdrive’, here.

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