Ultramarine

Profile:
London and Essex-based UK duo Ian Cooper and Paul Hammond; formed in 1989. Cooper & Hammond were both former members of the band A Primary Industry.

Ultramarine's early releases were issued on the seminal Brussels-based label Les Disques Du Crépuscule and shortly afterwards by Brainiak Records, a label closely affiliated to The Brain club (an early purveyor of regular House music nights in Soho, London). Their debut album Folk was issued by Crépuscule in 1990 but the group are better known for their classic second album Every Man And Woman Is A Star, initially released on Brainiak in 1991 and given a wider audience with the release of an expanded version on Rough Trade (UK) in 1992; neatly described by Simon Reynolds in his book Energy Flash as:

Perhaps the first and best stab at that seeming contradiction-in-terms, pastoral techno... all sun-ripened, meandering lassitude and undulant dub-sway tempos... like acid-house suffused with the folky-jazzy ambience of the Canterbury scene.

Every Man And Woman Is A Star was followed by the albums United Kingdoms (1993), featuring collaborations with Robert Wyatt; Bel Air (1995) and A User's Guide (1998). LTM Publishing (Les Temps Modernes) released Companion (Every Man And Woman Is A Star Versions) (2003), a collection of remixes and alternative versions from the group’s early-90s period, and reissued A User's Guide (2005). Ultramarine broke a 13-year silence in 2011 with two new singles, followed by their sixth album This Time Last Year in 2013.
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Albums

Ultramarine - Folk album art Ultramarine Folk (Album) Les Disques Du Crépuscule Belgium 1990 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - Every Man And Woman Is A Star album art Ultramarine Every Man And Woman Is A Star (Album) Brainiak Records UK 1991 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - United Kingdoms album art Ultramarine United Kingdoms (Album) Blanco Y Negro US 1993 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - Bel Air album art Ultramarine Bel Air (Album) Blanco Y Negro UK 1995 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - A User's Guide album art Ultramarine A User's Guide (Album) New Electronica UK 1998 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - This Time Last Year album art Ultramarine This Time Last Year (Album) Real Soon UK 2013 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - Signals Into Space album art Ultramarine Signals Into Space (Album) Les Disques Du Crépuscule UK 2019 Sell This Version
TWI 1243 CD Ultramarine - Meditations album art Ultramarine Meditations(CD, MiniAlbum) Les Disques Du Crépuscule TWI 1243 CD UK 2019 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Ultramarine - Wyndham Lewis album art Ultramarine Wyndham Lewis (EP) Les Disques Du Crépuscule Belgium 1989 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - Stella album art Ultramarine Stella Dancyclopaedia Belgium 1990 Sell This Version
Braink 19 Ultramarine - Weird Gear / British Summertime album art Ultramarine Weird Gear / British Summertime(12") Brainiak Records Braink 19 UK 1991 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - Nightfall In Sweetleaf album art Ultramarine Nightfall In Sweetleaf (EP) Rough Trade UK 1992 Sell This Version
45 rev 7 Ultramarine - Saratoga / Nova Scotia album art Ultramarine Saratoga / Nova Scotia(7", Single) Rough Trade 45 rev 7 UK 1992 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - Kingdom album art Ultramarine Kingdom (Single) Blanco Y Negro, Blanco Y Negro, Blanco Y Negro UK 1993 Sell This Version
PRO-CD-6526 Ultramarine - Happy Land album art Ultramarine Happy Land(CD, Single, Promo) Sire, Giant Records, Blanco Y Negro PRO-CD-6526 US 1993 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - Barefoot E.P. album art Ultramarine Barefoot E.P. (EP) Blanco Y Negro, Blanco Y Negro UK 1994 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - Hymn album art Ultramarine Hymn (Single) Blanco Y Negro UK & Europe 1994 Sell This Version
SAM 1683 Ultramarine - Sketches album art Ultramarine Sketches(12", Promo) Blanco Y Negro SAM 1683 UK 1995 Sell This Version
SAM 1541 Ultramarine - First Air album art Ultramarine First Air(12", Promo) Blanco Y Negro SAM 1541 UK 1995 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - On The Brink album art Ultramarine On The Brink New Electronica UK 1998 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - Carl Craig Remixes album art Ultramarine Carl Craig Remixes Real Soon 2003 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - Find A Way album art Ultramarine Find A Way Real Soon UK 2011 Sell This Version
WNCL008 Ultramarine - Acid / Butch album art Ultramarine Acid / Butch(10") WNCL Recordings WNCL008 UK 2011 Sell This Version
Ultramarine - Passwords album art Ultramarine Passwords (EP) Real Soon UK 2014 Sell This Version
RS-026, TWI 1241 Ultramarine - Breathing album art Ultramarine Breathing(12", Promo) Real Soon, Les Disques Du Crépuscule RS-026, TWI 1241 UK 2018 Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 4 Reviews

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jonathan_armstrong

jonathan_armstrong

April 16, 2004
I remember seeing these guys live back in 1992 as part of the Communion Tour (Ultramarine, Orbital, and Meat Beat Manifesto).

Their albums are really great - they have a timeless sound that defies aging quite well. It's a mixture of stark Detroit-ish techno, dubby downtempo, and acoustic instrumentation. It sounds quirky, and it is, but it works really well. This was the "end of the night" soundtrack at aroud 6 A.M. on many occasions - "Lights in my Brain" was my favorite track.

It's really a shame that more techno artists can't make quality ALBUMS like this. This actually feels like a real album versus just another collection of 12" records. Kinda makes you feel like the promise of electronica has yet to be fulfilled. Maybe Carl Craig remixes that just came out will introduce these guys to the younger generation.
Alastis

Alastis

March 20, 2004
One of the worst things that one can say about this band is that they are no longer around (i can safely assume that, since their latest release came out in 1998).

It's a shame, really, since their music sounds great. Its a mix of some different styles: ambient, folk, dub and i guess that they were one of few who could mix electronic & live instrumentation equally well.

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