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CD Review & Interview: Ulrich Schnauss "Goodbye"

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Artist: Ulrich Schnauss
Album: Goodbye
Label: Domino
Release Date: Summer 2007

I had first heard tracks from Ulrich Schnauss' Far Away Trains Passing By on a bizarre compilation someone handed me back in 2002. Again I heard a couple songs from Schnauss' second release, A Strangely Isolated Place (2004), on yet another compilation. The songs were epic and transformative meanderings through ambient yet driving spaces. Schnauss' current release, Goodbye, takes us down these paths again, yet even more so - Schnauss has learned a lot, his sound is more refined, truely original, and even more inspiring.

Ambient is too vague and wussy a word to use to describe Schnauss' music. Think about My Bloody Valentine doing electronica - except this is a bit misleading since My Bloody Valentine's wall of sound is more like a wall of noise out of which we can barely perceive melody. Schnauss' Goodbye, in contrast, has a wall of sound that is built up layer by perceptible layer and each of these layers move independently and each layer has it's "moment" in each song. This album also has some great vocals and are much more song-like than the more abstract tracks of previous albums. In short, if you are at all receptive to ambient, trance, or even shoegazer rock, try this record out and go check out Schnauss live when he comes to play in LA, Friday, October 5th, at the Troubador in West Hollywood.

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[Fan video + Interview with Ulrich Schnauss after the jump]