Atlum Schema
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Atlum Schema

| INDIE

| INDIE
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"Tom Robinson - BBC 6 Music"

‘F*** ME!! Passionate, gorgeous epic songwriting: a MAJOR new talent’ - BBC


"The Edge - Southampton University Music Magazine"

Previously described as “post-pop indie with a dark electronic underbelly”, Atlum Schema proves to be just that; an irresistible blend of the best parts of both indie and electronica. This self-titled album is cohesive in its song choices, each a different snapshot of the same musical journey; diverse, yet with a strong prevalent theme running through each song. Southampton’s Andy Mort and crew play with intricate counter melodies/ harmonies, military-like beats and electronic effects, whilst still paying homage to the beautiful sounds of the electronic piano. Andy’s lyrics are pensive and poetic, lending weight to the album as more than just pretty music. Each track seems to build up throughout the song with climactic middle eights or bridges, lending an ‘anthem’ status to some. The first song on the album, ‘Closing The Doors’, sets the tone with its tribal-like beats, dreamy harmonised vocals and poignant use of chimes, culminating in an almost melancholic statement “all we are is fading out now”. ‘Hold On’ cleverly integrates clips of Ronald Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall” speech and Mort’s vocals in the chorus almost remind me of Brandon Boyd (Incubus) in the song ‘Megalomaniac’. ‘The Ballad Of The Self-Blessed, Self-Less’ and ‘Feeling About For Conformity In The Dark’ are both lyrically graceful, the former piano-driven and reminiscent of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’, whilst the latter is acoustic guitar led and haunting.

‘Gunfight…’ is very catchy and lyrically sound with its marching rhythm that marries in the military theme of its title. The electric piano solo is a delight to hear in this song, so be sure to look out for it! ‘Breathe’ is a more laid-back song containing evocative doubled vocals and an aptly incorporated cello. It also contains probably the best line in the whole album, an inspirational “don’t blame the sun it never fails, it’s just cloud that comes and veils”. The final song ‘Opening The Doors’ is a hopeful response to the first song and a good conclusion to the album.

All in all, Atlum Schema has done well with a reflective album, not one for finding infectious pop-inspired tunes but rather something more thoughtful and best enjoyed during something unexpectedly inspirational like a walk in the rain. - Wessex Scene


"Bearded Magazine Atlum Schema album Review"

Sometimes I hate doing reviews. Monotonous indie rock can really take a toll, and there are moments where I just want to uninstall iTunes and weep in a darkened room. This is not one of those moments.

Less hedonistic and more pessimistic musically, Atlum Schema meanders through an elegant soundscape of gloomy enchantment, with poetic imagery cast throughout each song. Electronic hints enhance the awkward beauty of ‘To the Skylight’, whereas the vocals ‘Gunfight at the O.K. Coral’ stand out, showing the full potential of driving-force Andy Mort.
‘Ink Star’s serene opening bars of subdued backing vocals and calming keys blend meticulously well with the albums tranquil atmosphere, and as pleasant as each track sounds, it doesn’t truly convey the feeling and sense of escaping through closing doors as promised by the conceptual driving force of Atlum Schema. Regardless of this very minor error of Andy Mort’s ways, the record continues to delight, and the more jovial musical tone of ‘Warning Light’ suggests that it is not all doom and gloom for this rather wonderful self-titled LP.

After three years of reworking and development, it seems as though the relentless meandering between bedrooms, kitchens, garages and hallways has paid off, as Atlum Schema is an album flooded with melancholic delight. After innovatively - and to fund the elusive yet determinably large costs of mixing an album – undertaking a pressurising and difficult challenge to write, record and distribute a new song every week for five months with a collection of twenty gloom-pop wonders to those confident enough to invest in a one off payment, it seems as though Andy’s daring and innovative approach to creating and releasing modern music has proved him and his alter-ego Atlum Schema to be a bright beacon in the depths of British music today – watch out.
Olivia Jaremi
- Bearded Magazine


"New Sound Wales - Album Review"

This is an ambitious, almost audacious debut from Atlum Schema. Back in the mid eighties this would have been called ‘big music’ full of ideas, aspiration and emotion. The album has an incredible depth and variety, some memorable songs and sounds excellent. ‘Hold On’ could easily be a hit single if it got any airplay and elsewhere ‘I can’ is a moving story of lost love and regret. This is the sort of album that is either going to disappear without trace and be picked up on in 20 years time as a lost classic or it might just make its way onto this year’s Mercury Prize list. Either way give it a listen now. You will be intrigued and impressed. - New Sound Wales


"Space City Rock Album Review"

I'll admit I didn't have high hopes for this album, a CD-R with a laser-printed CD sleeve and an unwieldy, pretentious-sounding name; I figured it was headed for a quick listen and then a toss on the ever-growing pile on the desk. Atlum Schema frontman/one-man show Andy Mort turns out to have some impressive surprises up his sleeve, however.

On Atlum Schema, he soars and spirals through eleven tracks' worth of dramatic, high-minded songcraft that brings to mind Peter Gabriel at times ("Closing the Doors"), Baby Bird at others ("Gunfight At the O.k. Corral"), and even a less-precious Radiohead ("Feeling About for Conformity in the Dark", "Ink Star") every once in a while. He layers swooping electronics and a heavy keyboard/organ haze over his alternately defiant and angelic vocals, throws on some interesting beats, and the result is a blindside shot of murky, impassioned retro-'80s pop.
Through it all, he's so damn intense and sincere and socially-conscious (I think?) lyrically that I can't even poke a stick at it; his lyrics work nicely, evoking an almost irresistible urge to punch the air and march along, but stay vague and anti-Big Evil enough to be mysterious. On some of the tracks on here, like the aforementioned "Gunfight," Mort's delivery is seriously reminsicent of New Model Army's Justin Sullivan -- it's strident and fearless, even if I've got no clue what, exactly, Mort is railing against.

By that point, though, it no longer matters anyway, and I'm just drifting along with the swooning, thundering music. By the time Atlum Schema rolls on to the beautiful roar of "Warning Light," I can't turn away. It's sweet and wondering and furiously angry, all at once; maybe what Mort's railing against, in the end, is the world at large? (Jeremy Hart // 08/21/09)
- Space City Rock


Discography

The Final Scene (2005) LP
The Truckstop EP (2006) EP
Atlum Schema (2009) LP
One World Less (TBR 2011)

All available through iTunes, Spotify and other streaming/radio sites.

Photos

Bio

In 2005, Atlum Schema started life as a series of home recordings. It was a creative and unexpected off shoot project from Andy Mort, which like a dough-ball rolling through flour has been getting bigger and gathering purpose ever since. 2009 saw the release of the second full-length album; a self-titled 11 track LP that took three years to complete as Andy battled priorities, house-moves and a frequent lack of funds. He travelled between bedrooms, kitchens, garages and hallways playing live and working on it before bringing together an eight-piece band to launch it through a live performance of the album at Harbour Lights Cinema in Southampton.

During 2010 Andy has facilitated the production of a brand new project. It boasts a 16-track album, 55,000-word novella and over twenty pieces of artwork; it has been no small feat. And this is exactly why it will not be released all at once. During the four seasons of 2011 the album will be hung, drawn and quartered before being released as four EPs alongside the four corresponding seasons of the novella. It is the culmination of many hours spent musing on the roll that art plays in a world of consumer culture and selfish capitalism and goes hand in hand with all that Andy is exploring through the blog on his website and his DIY approach toward putting the whole project out. Between October and December 2010 you can become a patron of One World Less by contributing to the pre-sale campaign.