Ulrich Schnauss A Strangely Isolated Place

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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.