Despite the project name sounds rather Ruhrgebiet-alike, Umme Block are an electronic pop duo from Munich. The German artists release their sophomore album State of Limbo on 28th January 2023. On that date, you can only buy physical versions of the songs, the digital release will follow on 24th March 2023. Here is my review.
Umme Block – About the Artists
Umme Block create a sound with experimental synth sounds, electronic guitars and beat machines. The project has been founded in 2018 by the two artists Klara Rebers and Leoni Klinger. Their debut album 25 Hours featured two very successful songs: Yellow Lights was one of the feature singles of the 2020 long-play and made it to almost one million streams on Spotify only. Later, the duo released a remix album with a new version of the 25 Hours title track, which has even been more popular and has 1.4 million Spotify streams so far.
Umme Block – State of Limbo – Track by Track
The thirteen song album lasts 46 minutes.
State of Limbo has a rather straight structure. The songs feel to flow from one sound to the following one. Thus, the atmospheric three minute song Spark almost feels like the intro section to the album. The song feels like wide space sounds, like a travel through time and space. Intense experience. Lift-off was easy, now we are in open space. Welcome to traveling with Umme Block.
The synth sounds of Phoenix lead to a rather laid back sound, which still has a nice dance floor potential. The song has a nice arc of suspense until the end – even though the finale contains a bit too much weakness in my point of view.
3. Future Kid
Even though the songs feel to beautifully fit and fade over from one song to the following, the individual tracks still have their own character and message. Some rather deal with love and relationships, while song like Future Kid rather concentrate on social topics. Nice balance and a good listen.
4. Wet Surface
The fourth track Wer Surface feels a bit darker and also feels a bit stronger like a keyboard track at the beginning. The longer the song lasts, the more Klara and Leoni explore the limits of the synth sounds, which also leads to very different sections in the song. Towards the end, you even have some parts which come with flute-alike sounds.
5. The Rock
The fifth track is rather slow, works with a nice groove and nice melodic elements. Overall, it is very impressive how the two ladies compose their music and give every section of this musical trip a very own signature.
6. Shut Up
Shut Up opens a block of three single releases. The sound of this track reminds me of electronic pop songs of the later 1990’s. Nice one.
7. Standing Still
Standing Still is a very slow and melancholic listen. The plaintive vocals emphasize that significantly. The track is comparably simple on the melodic side.
Hope is about loving and believing in the good in the soul of a human. The song starts very magical with a lot of echo, but then also moves towards saxophone-alike sounds. Nonetheless, the song is to me one of the weaker listens of the album.
Humble opens a block of very interesting songs: apart from the interlude State Of and the closing Dust, you find the four longest tracks of the album in here. The songs manage to define a beautiful plot. Humble thereby feels rather handmade and like using “real” instruments. The song is very energetic, even though it does also have a frantic component.
10. Blue Hour
Blue Hour is almost having a meditative character. Unfortunately, some of the rhythmic elements bother me while listening. Not too bad, but not on the top of my favorites.
11. State Of
This one is the quickest listen on the whole album: State Of bridges the time between Blue Hour and Limbo as an interlude track.
The song does not make you dancing below a bar… But it is definitely a nice dance-pop track. Again, the song spreads some 1990’s vibes to me. In the middle section of Limbo, Umme Block even flash some rocker qualities.
Dust feels like a two minute fade-out to me. Or we travel back to Earth in this one.
Umme Block – State of Limbo – Streaming
As said above, streaming / digital release will follow in March 2023
Umme Block – State of Limbo – My View
State of Limbo features a couple of really interesting elements. The German duo presents a nice range of very different electronic pop songs. Not the whole album leaves me with a smile, but the majority is really a good listen.
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