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Ulrich Schnauss.

To be fair, I'm not sure what IDM exactly is. There was a boy I used to know who loved the stuff and when I ask'd JEEVES it (am I dating myself here?) all I found was the group "Jedi Mind Tricks."

Enter Ulrich Schnauss, a German composer and maker of such music, with (what others have said) is a shoegaze-y hint. (if you like stuff like M83, etc)

In the past, he's recorded under the aliases "Ethereal 77" and "A View To the Future." His first album was released in 2001, Far Away Trains Passing By. Weirdly enough, that title alone perfect encapsulates the soul of his music. Along his way, he's worked with numerous other musicians, such as Mojave 3, Engineers and A Shoreline Dream.

His third album came in 2007 with Goodbye, which is my personal favorite. listen to the title track here:

Now, he's working on new music, and about to set foot on a new (albeit small) tour. I asked him a few questions and he was kind enough to give me responses, here on the eve of a hurricane:

What got you started in music? It seems like you are a big shoegaze fan (and I have read this in multiple sources!)

Ulrich:  It was never a conscious decision to become a musician - from a very early age on I simply knew that music is what I HAVE to do - I'd go as far as saying that I never really had a choice. 

One of my biggest inspirations is indeed a lot of the new music that appeared around the late 80s/early 90s as that was the time when I started developing my own musical taste rather than just listening to my parent's records. The shoegaze sound is one important thing that came up around that time - acid house/bleep bass music another one.

What was it like working with a Shoreline Dream?
Ulrich:  Nice, it's always good to work with people who have similar creative intentions but at the same time draw inspiration from different sources than yourself.

To me, your music conveys a sense of loneliness. How do you feel about that? What emotions do you aim for?

Ulrich:  My music tries to describe a romantic idea of what could be - a utopia if you want to say so (that's the hopeful, euphoric element in it) - at the same time, I obviously realize that the actual world we live in is very different from that - that's the sad, melancholic aspect of it.

What are you up to right now?

Ulrich:  Playing a couple of shows at the moment (flying to japan tomorrow) - other than that I'm finishing my next solo record which is pretty much done now.

 What are your thoughts on the current state of music?

Ulrich:  I'm glad there's loads of interesting stuff happening in electronic music (particularly dnb) again - I was getting really thirsty for good new music as it's my impression that guitar/indie rock (which is what I've mainly been listening to over the last decade) became boring and stuck in routines over the last years.

My main criticism of the current situation (but that's nothing too new actually) would be that unlike until the 90s there's no interaction between the mainstream market and underground music anymore.

When I was a teenager, left-field records still had the chance to make an impact on middle of the road culture and even went into the charts - nowadays these two worlds are more seperated than ever.

That's bad for mainstream pop as it's lacking necessary creative input and bad for left-field labels and artists as it limits their opportunities to gain a sufficient income to realize more ambitious projects.

He certainly has a point. And on that note, I am REALLY looking forward to Mr. Schnauss' new stuff.

Check him out on his Facebook.

thank you!


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