Monday, 8 January 2018

Ulrich Schnauss "A Strangely Isolated Place" (2003)

Suggested by a reader, this hour of relaxing bliss was an instant fit for me. In patches its fondly reminiscent of Tycho's Drive with its washes of lavish, serine, sleepy melodies. German composer Schnauss comes off the back of the nineties with shades of Breakbeat, Trip Hop and Electronic scene of that time echoing ripples through his dive into synth oriented Dream Pop that plays like a trip. So swiftly can you fall into the spell of sweetly arranged sounds bleeding into one another with thick drippings of reverberation. Ulrich's voice creeps in like another instrument in the arsenal as his high pitched words are drifted in from the back like a ghostly voice in the distance. Only utilizing words on a couple of songs you can also here him as an instrument in places.

Its drum breaks hold the music together with a stiff injection of life and pace into an otherwise swirling self indulgence of vivid synths loosing track of time as the chemistry blossoms and ripens. These compositions have an organic, progressive element as contractions sweep through the musics wall of dreamy reverberated sounds. It allows for the often static feeling music to go through many transitions and transformations that feel entirely natural and without resistance. It lives, it breathes and the swarm of inviting sound is dense, with finesse and balance that can border on Noise in one or two songs but always its richness is a persuasion to be charmed by.

Everything hangs in the balance and through it all a warm breeze of peaceful intention arises. Although sleepy and sombre its always in awe of beauty, conjuring feelings of an innocent day in the soak of sunlight, a walk in the park, the simple things mother nature offers us. As the title suggests a shade of loneliness or isolation is in there but that's mostly down to interpretation. This record is rather wonderful and a better understanding of the electronic scene at the time may suggest this being a precursor to a lot of Dream Pop influenced electronica that has come by in recent years. Without a weak point or track to pick as a favorite it sits as a potential go to for years to come with the album playing as one big experience.

Rating: 8/10