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Ulrich Schnauss A Strangely Isolated Place

Some entries in the ambient genre have wandered close to that dreaded "new age" precipice where one false move lulls the listener to sleep whilst visions of pony-tailed pianists occupy the alpha waves. On his sophomore album, Berlin's Ulrich Schnauss does tempt meditation with his blissed-out slow builds. But he avoids the plunge by combining iridescent atmospherics with lively beats and the dithering wall of sound first fashioned by My Bloody Valentine; this is actually more reminiscent of peers Slowdive, but with less ache. Schnauss may be isolated, but he's not asleep-he keeps the ambient landscape fresh by balancing it with uplifting reveries and a rhythmic grip on the senses.

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