Sunday, 19 February 2012

Review: Ulrich Schnauss & Mark Peters

Ulrich Schnauss & Mark Peters – Underrated Silence (Bureau B)
Ulrich Schnauss once described his artistic goal as “transporting the sound of shoegazer aesthetics into an electronic context”. With “Underrated Silence” it’s very much mission accomplished. Schnauss has engaged, Mark Peters - his colleague from British Band, Engineers - for this work and together they have fashioned an album of lush dream pop. It has clearly taken influence, and drawn leads, from shoegazing staples (My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Chapterhouse, check) as well as from a variety of electronic, synth pop and ambient sources.

A reserved and shimmering retro synth-pop sound is preserved throughout which effervesces with equal parts OMD, Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Depeche Mode and Jean-Michel Jarre, best exemplified in “Long Distance Call”, “Rosen Im Asphalt” and “Ekaterina”. There are occasional punctuations: a couple of mysterious pieces which draw close comparison to the Cocteau Twins - like the fragile opener, “The Messiah is Falling” and the Liz Fraser-inflected vocalisation on “Forgotten” - and the dancier (sic) “Gift Horse’s Mouth” leans more towards Orbital.

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