UMMAGMA / VIRTA – SPLIT EP
Some split EPs make sense because they present two bands with a very similar sound or regional fan base. Yet others because they share the same label or promotion company. The latest joint release by Finland’s Virta and Canadian/Ukrainian Ummagma is united by none of that. This link has something even better: an eclectic multi-genre sonic bond that is almost mystic.
We recently introduced you to Virta and we’ve covered Ummagma’s debut albums and various developments since then.
Virta presents a dizzying mix of Tortoise, Miles Davis, King Crimson and Sigur Ros that goes down smoothly. Especially “Tales from the Deep Waters”, the title track from their debut LP, offers the listener a love affair with fusion jazz – not in the free jazz do-anything-you-want sense, but in the merging-of-genres sense. “Traffic” brings Virta into post-rock territory, while also holding strong on the jazz front.
As for Ummagma, they step out of the dreampop/shoegaze/postrock swirls we generally catch them in for a flirty dance with folk rock, jazz, and some serious lo-fi ethereal aspects. “River Town” is the more ‘catchy’ of the two, sweeping you away in the flow, while “Back To You” breathes heavily of Thurston Moore with a little more spaced-out feel.