Ulrich Schnauss was born in northern Germany fishing port Kiel in
1977, during his formative years he grew a love for a broad spectrum
of music ranging from my bloody valentine to tangerine dream, chapterhouse
to early bleep & breakbeat tracks. There was not much opportunity
to see some of his musical heroes in Kiel, so the inevitable pull
of the big city meant a move to Berlin in 1996.
By which time Ulrich’s musical output had already become prolific
with a variety of pseudonyms (most notably View to the Future and
Ethereal 77) veering from ambient to drum and bass via electronica.
These earlier works were soon, catching the eye of Berlin electronica
label CCO who took up the story.
“It came a bit of a regular thing, those anonymous packages
sent to us from Berlin with a single CDR, a biro scrawl revealing
at closer inspection the simple stamp 'Ethereal 77'. Ulrich had been
making music for years, producing, touring, piecing together that
BIG sound. And yet each of these CDR instalments revealed something
a little more personal.”
Soon these submissions to CCO developed into Ulrich’s first
album under his own name entitled ‘Far away Trains Passing By’
which as it slowly seeped into people’s consciousness became
an electronic classic. Listeners were taken with the lush instrumentation
and the emotion of the elegant, simple and beautiful music.
Yet nothing was to prepare his growing army of supporters for this
next record ‘A Strangely Isolated Place’ which slowly
came together during 2001 into a record that really showed some of
Ulrich’s youthful indie influences. His debut album under his
real name established his pedigree as an outstanding electronic composer,
but somehow he managed to take it further by developing his interest
in songwriting for electronic music, born of his love for such giants
of the independent world as My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields
and Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie. From this humble conception,
comes forth a record of surprisingly rare emotional power.
‘A Strangely Isolated Place’ has become one of those extraordinary
and rare occurrences; a genuinely word-of-mouth record slowly growing
in stature by virtue of its over-riding ability to deliver more than
the usual arid and academic treatises on the state of the synthesizer,
or solipsistic bedsit meanderings.
worked with computers and keyboards for a number of years, they become
not so fascinating of themselves anymore. I gained in confidence after
people began to discover ‘Faraway Trains…’ and it
hasn’t really stopped since then. This time I decided not to
compromise on what I wanted to do, with what I thought people might
want me to do.”
The results are an oddly retro-futurist record, which owes more to
MBV’s ‘Loveless’ or Vangelis’s ‘Bladerunner’
soundtrack than Ulrich’s computer peers. It sounds all the better
Since the release of both albums Ulrich has been asked to work with
and remix a host of artists including: Mojave 3, Longview, Johannes
Schmoelling, The Zephyrs, Lunz (Rodelius) etc.
He is currently writing and recording his third album.