Saturday, July 24, 2004

Ulrich Schnauss
A Strangely Isolated Place
City Centre Offices/ Domino

A version to appear in

Several recent electronic releases have taken the grandiose, spacey production of bands like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, reproducing elements using bedroom laptop rigs. Far Away Trains Passing By is guilty as charged, as it was recorded in Schnauss’ Berlin bedroom and not in a label-bankrupting studio for years on end. But this is not a bad thing. The unbelievably beautiful melodies and walls of ethereal sound are enough to keep your head in the clouds (or gazing at your shoes), at the same time making you remember why you loved these bands in the first place. Schnauss melds his blissful, expansive tones over minimal breaks, occasionally augmented by the falsetto wail of his girlfriend, Judy Beck. Clear Day is the best example of this formula working perfectly, while On My Own diverges from the overall album tone and sounds like a speed-addled space rock band fronted by Jonsi from Sigur Ros.

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