Boomkat Product Review:
30th anniversary edition of Ultramarine’s debut, a staple of hash-bucket post-club sessions during the ‘90s, Originally dished up on Belgium’s seminal Les Disques Du Crépuscule, and now issued as the maiden voyage by London-based reissue label Foam On A Wave. Armchair-o-nauts should check for evergreen charms in the Antenna-Like balm of ‘Bastard Folk’, the over-easy prog-funk frickles of ‘Vulgar Streak’, and the acid-folk rubs of ‘Interstellar’
“Ian Cooper and Paul Hammond admitted they weren’t totally sure what they were doing when they signed a record deal with the famously bohemian label Les Disques Du Crépuscule and found themselves on their way to Brussels. There, over a two week stint, the Essex duo recorded the album - drawing on a kaleidoscopic pallet influenced by both the Canterbury scene’s jazz-infused psychedelia, as well as the contemporary Benelux scene, with particular nods to the likes of Benjamin Lew, The Durutti Column and Anna Domino. Conceived at a time when technology began reshaping the process of recording and production, the band’s interest in fusing the organic and the electronic is apparent, and one which would remain with them throughout their career.
‘Folk’ both sits apart from and serves as a precursor to the ‘pastoral techno’ sound Ultramarine’s went on to pioneer. Following a US and European tour alongside Orbital and Bjork, a few more albums and collaborations with the likes of Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers, plus remixes for and by Everything But The Girl, Carl Craig, Luke Slater and more, they folded the project for a number of years. Last year the band returned to their inaugural imprint with the ethereal ‘Signals Into Space’. Albeit somewhat sparser, more sedate, it is in some ways a coming full-circle to the jazz-laden, analogue sound of their debut, which makes reissuing ‘Folk’ feel all the more timely.”