UMMAGMA – Lama Remixes (EDR055)

UMMAGMA - Lama Remixes

You’re standing in a room. It is blue. There is a picture on the wall. You are now entering… the UMMAGMA zone.

Artist: UMMAGMA
Title: Lama Remixes
Labels: Emerald & Doreen Records
Cat#: EDR055
Keywords: Alternative, Electronic, Nu Disco, Chillwave, Dance, Disco, Dream Pop, Electro, Electronica, Indie Pop, Indie Rock, Indietronic, Post-Punk, Post-Rock, Progressive Rock
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

BUZZWORDS!!!

EVERYWHERE!!!

Just looking at the page for this release, for 8 mixes of the same single, is like sticking your head in a literary beehive! I feel as if all these words are stinging me in the eyes!

But, that’s ok, because the music is at least pretty good, right?

We’ll see… >_>

Starting off, we’ve got ‘Lama (Theatre Of Delays Remix)’… it begins with a piano chord and a plinky arp. Some percussive sounds ring out, then the vocals come in. I’m trying to get a sense of whether I like it or not… it feels a little generic, but not altogether unpleasant. Thick progressive house vibe… but, not much to say about it.

The next version of ‘Lama’ is the Alexander Robotnick Remix. I love Alexander Robotnick, and his mix is so far the most interesting one of the two I’ve heard, with its deep bass tones that sound like some giant machine powering off, and chill groove. There are some lovely electronic sounds throughout, including some very subtle acid basslines back there.

A Copycat Remix sounds promising at first, with a kind of spacy retro 80s drum groove, then a dense Juno bass sequence! Kind of surprised! Of course, the difference in style is only a cosmetic sheen; the vocals sounded a little more out of place here than on the previous two mixes… at least until the chorus and afterward, when it felt like they eased into the vibe a little more. Still, it’s just a bit too canned for my taste. Would I dance to it? Probably, one or preferably two drinks into the night.

Ok, so then we hit ‘Lama (Go Nogo Remix)’. I kind of like it, it’s got an eclectic sound, guitar and a thick R&B groove.

‘Lama (Irregular Disco Workers Acid Feel)’ is nice! A low-end chunky beat, acid groove, some bass guitar which kind of mixes it up a bit. Eventually, all of that drops away, with a splash of toms, some dark atmospherics, and then a 2nd dose of acid. I think I hear a guitar floating around. Holy smokes, the next section is funky!!! Some Disco Soul grooves with lovely acid over the top. Love the voice sample cuts, rhythmically arranged. The vocals just drift by in a haze! Best mix so far. A wash of guitars, electric and acoustic… then those vocals again. Thankfully, everything begins to disappear back into the aether, and we return to the acid funk groove. This part is fun.

Then, the Sounds Of Sputnik Remix, which sounds heavy. There’s a heavily fading string, then a loud reverb-intense groove. Somehow, despite being relatively minimal, this mix manages to feel very hypnotic. There’s almost something to it that reminds me of coldwave. I feel like with all these genres being toyed with… it’s the audio equivalent of watching someone try on several different looks in a department store.

Now we get into the Mind Movies Remix, something reminiscent a bit of 808 State or LFO, wild oscillations. There’s a kind of dead groove, string overlays. After the vocals come on, there’s a heavy sawtooth bass. Weird sounds… off-kilter grooves… everything spins deliriously, like I’m in a hall of mirrors reflecting 80s yamaha bell leads in every direction, I can’t see anything, will probably trip and fall…

… into ‘Lama (Original Mix)’, and so now, the true colors of this single shall be revealed! I’m kind of excited, I’ve heard it in so many other flavors now, I want to know how original tastes. Well… I hear some muted guitar, atmospherics. Bass drop, very low end… wisps of ethereal pad. And the vocals. It’s almost kind of funny now, how often I’ve heard these vocals now. Or, it feels funny. There’s a dry drum beat that comes in, sounds sampled at first. Everything builds into a section with heavy guitar fuzz.

My sense impression of the track is that… it’s identity-less, a blank thumbprint. It’s like it was even conceived for the purpose of others playing around with it, dressing it up in alternate styles. I don’t know how I feel about it still, but if you’d like to, you can check it out at the link:

http://ummagma.bandcamp.com/album/lama-2

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