Boomkat Product Review:
Ulla's latest follows the lead of last year's Motion Ward slow-burner 'Limitless Frame', stripping her sound back to a tape-warped haze of overdriven sax improvisations, guitar strums, and the faintest flicker of boxed-in room ambience. Utterly gorgeous creaky DIY folk, for fans of Vincent Gallo's 'Brown Bunny' soundtrack, or Matt Elliott's fourth world drinking songs.
There's a refreshing lack of self-conscious posturing on 'Hope Sonata'. Ulla's music has been moving away from the 2D ambient realm for a while now, but this long composition might be the most at ease she's been with just flexing her instrumental chops. A long piece made up of two stitched-together movements for guitar and saxophone, it sounds like someone playing to themselves at home; multitracked but still isolated and impromptu. Occasionally we hear a microphone bump or a tape stop, or another instrument or effect added nonchalantly. Human movements are captured absolutely and definitively, acting as an antidote to the deluge of overworked scambient records anxiously written and re-written again and again over lockdown.
'Hope Sonata' is a periscope into Ulla's writing space, and is struck through with intimacy, grace, and generosity. It sounds as if you could hear a pin drop - sometimes you might - as her breath animates sax phrases and sparse guitar strums. A beautiful, absorbing piece of music.