Category Archives: Shoegaze

Ummagma

A few years back I featured Ummagma on the old blog. At that time I said this about them.

Ummagma is a Canadian-Ukrainian duo comprised of Alexx Kretov and Shauna McLarnon, blending the ethereal with sublime resonance, beats and rhythm to create richly layered soundscapes. In mid-July, Ummagma released two CD albums (“Ummagma” and “Antigravity”) and won the 2013 Alternative Eurovision, representing Ukraine from 21 countries. Although this music encompasses several music genres — indie rock, post-rock, dream pop, ambient/ethereal, space rock and progressive rock — there is a common remarkable theme, elevating atmosphere and stirring effect in Ummagma’s music.

Like so many independent artists they keep on moving on.

On the trail of their collaboration with dreampop pioneer A.R.Kane earlier this year, Ummagma has been turning a lot of heads in the last few years, winning praise from the likes of Joe Foster (Creation Records) and The Veldt, collaborating with members of OMD and Swervedriver, and winning the Alternative Eurovision on Amazing Radio. They also feature in Wire Magazine’s new Wire Tapper CD.

Recently they released an awesome re-mix of one of their gems. As with all their releases this is a soaring piece of music that will take you higher, complex yet simple it just moves you along with it.
Add to that a beautiful video and I just had to post this, their latest release.

Enjoy, I know I am.

Lama ~ Robin Guthrie Mix

And just for kicks, here’s the original version, love ’em both myself.  What say you?

Lama

 

📷 Oleksandra Kostiv

Cats of Transnistria

📸 Eetu Maaranen

We all know what a cat is, but what is a Transnistria?
Transnistria: Transnistria (also called Trans-Dniestr or Transdniestria) is a breakaway state located mostly on a strip of land between the River Dniester and the eastern Moldovan border with Ukraine. It is internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Moldova but whose de facto independence is maintained with the assistance of Russian forces.

Allegedly there are no cats in Transnistria.

So we have Cats of Transnistria who are a slow and deep duo from Helsinki, Finland.
Cats of Transnistria are Tuomas Alatalo and Henna Emilia Hietamäki.

So let’s get to hear this awesome music.

First up this deliciously dark piece, amazing guitar work and the beautiful voice of Henna
It has a great video of beach scenes through the ages, not too sure much of it is from San Francisco though. Some of the surfing stuff could be from Mavericks on a quiet day. Some of the older stuff could have been from the Sutro Baths.
San Francisco

Unofficial music video from “a fan”.
We own no rights.

📸 Silja-Riikka Seppälä

Next up a live Sofar performance from Helsinki. Sofar do such a great job producing these videos all around the world. The performance is just as good as their recordings are, proving them to be real artists. Oh and her voice, her voice.
Let It Happen This Way

Filmed by: Arto Marttinen, Susan Heikkinen & Henri Hämäläinen
Edited by: Eero Lehtinen
Audio by: Simo Pitkänen

📸 Sofia Okkonen

Another beautiful blend of dream pop vocals and fuzzy, psyched guitar and of course the keyboards. This tune is hypnotically brilliant, it engages you from the very beginning right up to the final notes. If only all music could be this inclusive.
The Departure

The video, directed by friend and photographer​ Sofia Okkonen, slowly unwinds through shadows and smoke to reveal a fine band performance full of emotion and mood, reflecting The Departure’s dream state structure and sense of longing. Hypnotic and at times surreal, The Departure’s 7 plus minutes is something to get lost in.

📸 Niclas Mäkelä

I’m not sure what this one is about, but then you can all read the lyrics? text? the same as every one else. But seriously, this is another gem of dark decadent mood pop. Just enjoy it.
Haastattelussa

Cats of Transnistria esiintyy Stupido-klubilla 13.5. Illan muut esiintyjät ovat Cyan Kicks ja For Tomorrow.

We are going to finish up with this 10 minute masterpiece, it’s slow but beautiful. It’s worthwhile taking the time to kick back and enjoy this awesome piece.
Cats Of Transnistria’s recently released debut album Divine, has been warmly received, with many commenting on the album’s atmosphere, beauty and dark charisma. The centre piece of the album is the 10 minute-plus trance-invoking Displacement: repetition, slow build with noisy release – Cats of Transnistria tell us that Displacement is “a song of wanting to be anywhere else than here and of the enormous joy one feels when finding a way out'”
Displacement

First camera: Dimitriy Zhuravlev
Second Camera: Polina Sarancha
Editor: Alina Sarancha
Cargo Collective / Panika Derevya
The video was shot in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

📸 Niclas Mäkelä

The Aprons

The Aprons are Talia Peri and Hava Cohen, they hail from Tel-Aviv, Israel.
They make beautiful dreamy music.

That’s how I opened my original post on them on the old blog back in 2013.

I then continued with this little folk tale.
The Aprons, dreamy, magical indie duo. Hava and Talia met while escaping the great avalanche of 1805. Leaving their families of Siberian wolves behind, they embarked on their musical journey.

The Aprons are back with another brilliant and beautiful album, “Any Human Heart”, which is full of delicious dreamy shoegaze perfect music. Treat yourself get your copy today.

Do you want to hear some of it, of course you do. So let’s get to the music.

This is the second single from the album “Any Human Heart”, a beautiful atmospheric song giving advice on how to cure a fear of heights while walking along an idyllic beach. And then of course they revert back to being mermaids, showing the heights underwater. Why not?
Sublime harmonies from two beautiful voices.
Fear of heights

Filmed, directed & edited by Benjamin Esterlis
Written and composed by Hava Cohen and Talia Peri
Music Produced & arranged by Noam Rotem
Recorded by Raz Burg at Bardo and Tamuz studio
Mix by Roy Avital

Just to keep up here’s the first track from the album “Any Human Heart”, more sublime delicate harmonies. And that great percussion, especially the last one that scared the bejazuss out of the bird in the dark.
Day Off

Directed, filmed and edited by Benjamin Esterlis
Makeup artist: Maeve Hanford
Music Produced & arranged by Noam Rotem
Recorded by Raz Burg at Bardo and Tamuz studio
Mix by Avi Tuchman

📷 Roy Taragan

This is a track from their earlier album ‘Sound Stains’ it is the amazingly beautiful video that was my first introduction to the Aprons. It is on my old blog, but I just had to re-feature it since it is so great.
Sound Stain

Director: Liran Goldberg
Visual FX Artist: Shay Goldberg
DP: Shai Peleg
Editor: Amichy Bikovsky
Character Animation: Talia Tsur, Tom Dor, Shuki Gamliel, Eitan Vineshtock
Flame Artist + Colorist: Neil Cohen
1st Assistant Director: Melina Carpovich
Styling + Art: Nilly Kalmar
Additional Cinematography: Rami Katzav

📷 David Pearl

We’re gonna end where we came in, but this is a terrific live version of the song.
Going back to my sometimes tradition of starting with the music video and ending with the live performance.
Fear of heights

Live at the Abraham Hostel Bar 18th November 2016
הופעה בהוסטל של אברהם

OK just kidding, one more chance to hear their wonderful music. Check out the album.
Any Human Heart