Ultramarine are an English electronic music duo, formed in 1989 by Ian Cooper and Paul Hammond.
Cooper and Hammond first worked together in the band A Primary Industry during the mid-1980s. Following the split of that band, they formed Ultramarine and released their debut album Folk in April 1990 on seminal Belgian label Les Disques du Crépuscule. The duo found critical aclaim with their second long player Every Man And Woman Is A Star, initially released in 1991 by Brainiak Records and reissued as an expanded version by Rough Trade in 1992. Music writer Simon Reynolds neatly described the album 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), which features an extensive collaboration with Robert Wyatt, Bel Air (1995) and A User’s Guide (1998). After a long sabbatical, Ultramarine re-emerged in 2011 with two new singles. Their sixth album, This Time Last Year, was released in September 2013.
In 2014, Rough Trade reissued Every Man And Woman Is A Star as a triple-vinyl set including a 1992 John Peel BBC Radio session and Warner Music released expanded digital-only editions of United Kingdoms and Bel Air.
A new Ultramarine album will be released in Autumn 2018 by Les Disques du Crépuscule.