Since 2010 Reto Mäder is working as Ural Umbo with different collaborators:
> 2010 to 2016: Steven Hess (Locrian, RLYR, Pan American)
> 2019: Marko Neuman (Dark Buddha Rising, Waste Of Space Orchestra, Convocation)
2012 // Utech Records
URAL UMBO "Delusion Of Hope"
With an eldritch terror that could just as easily be from another dimension as the darkest ocean comes the fourth release from Ural Umbo, the duo of Reto Mäder and Steven Hess. Feedback and melody barely escape from the murky crevices, tinged with a sense of grinding tension. Sharp, acidic percussion slices through the blackness with violent urgency, while electronic blasts and organic drones entwine and ensnare. Some dim instinctive memory vaguely resurrects a shadowy scene wherein black drums roar madly, and monstrous beings squat loathsomely in inexplicable rituals rooted in the black dawn of the universe.
- DL (Utech Records & Ural Umbo)
- LP including CD (Utech Records, URLP070) - Sold Out
Like a spectral entity resurfacing from the murky depths of the Pacific Ocean to prey under a new form, Ural Umbo has sought to reinvent itself. By applying a heavier, coarser sound to their sparse, haunting melodies, Delusion of Hope creates a whole new experience that doesn’t depart too radically from their previous releases but brings a new level to the intricate textures they’ve engineered throughout the last two years. The psychedelic tingles of kosmische, the heaviness of drone-doom and the seduction of dark ambient find a common place once again, pushing ambience away from the background in order to give it a more active role in the listening process, and effectively turning the listener into another protagonist of their constructed nightmare.
Sometimes it’s really difficult to translate highly evocative music like this into more concrete media forms such as literature or film without missing a great deal of the overall experience, it requires an in-depth knowledge of the craft and a good amount of imagination to be able to give the music a worthy interpretation. The video for ‘Self-Fulfilling Prophecy’, however, successfully breaks the boundaries between the intangible sound and the visual, reusing motifs of their previous work and wrapping them in an overbearing sonic embrace.
The deeply layered and dissimilar textures complement the monotonous guitar drones and sparse metallic notes with blistering synths reminiscent (when decontextualized) of the calmer aspects of the kosmische era. The sampling assumes a stronger role in this album compared to their previous ones, buried as it is beneath the feedback and percussion.
Delusion of Hope was released via Utech Records in clear LP format (including a CD with different artwork) limited to 300 copies. Personally recommended as one of the best albums of 2012, a quality product like this deserves serious attention.
(Lurker Magazine, USA)
* Album Of The Day (Roadburn.com/2012/01/, NED)