05 May 2021 - Thorsten
Genre: Drone Ambient Noise TripHop
The second life of Ural Umbo after a near-decade long silence features project founder Reto Mäder and Marko Neuman starts with a bang – the new record Roomer will turn a lot of people’s ears inside out and will certainly stand out from the 2021 releases in its uncompromising attitude towards music and its making.
Whenever you see the names Reto Mäder and Marko Neuman on the bill, you better not expect pop music – which does not imply that they make indistinguishable and unbearable noise. Their music is digestible but might leave you breathless because during the time when they produce sounds and develop dreamscapes (or rather nightmare-scapes) you might have forgotten to take long breaths. Mäder’s other well-known bands are ambient act Sum of R or post-punkish, wavey JeGong and Neuman is active in drone acts Dark Buddha Rising or Waste Of Space Orchestra – bands that are not in it for the charts and in some ways not even in it for “an audience” but only for themselves and that can also be said about Ural Umbo.
Their music is hypnotic and at the same time frightening – two highly complex and in many ways also contrary emotions. To combine both in songs is a difficult thing because the line between attraction and repulsion is razor-thin. Ural Umbo showcases the performers’ abilities and the new video for ”Landmarks and Tears” is a perfect example for that.
The video shows sequences from old scientific school videos explaining things like gravity, centrifugal forces, friction and friction loss etc. Underneath these images you will hear a track that begins like an old-fashioned Western Saloon track with a totally out of tune blues guitar. But soon a different and irregular drum pattern sets (as if hitting onto a metallic pole of a swing or sandbox outside with a children’s plastic hammer) in and the vocals become louder. The real drums are slowly pushed to the front and the distortion on the cymbals give the whole track an ever more spooky atmosphere. But somehow one just cannot stop listening, even though the vocals delivered by Marko are frightening and scream for an exorcism.
By the way – this album has a very interesting concept behind it and an exorcism might be part of it. If you want to know more about that concept, about the writing and recording process behind Roomer please make sure to check back here with VeilofSound because we will soon feature in-depth review for the record ahead of its release and an interview with the guys. It is great to see Reto bring back Ural Umbo, to see how well Marko’s contribution flows into the flow setup of the project! For now: Enjoy the premiere of the video for ”Landmarks and Tears” and if you are as intrigued by the video as the author of these lines: make sure to use one of the two links below it for the pre-order of your choice.