Ulrich Schnauss Says Auf Wiedersehen

Ulrich Schnauss Says Auf Wiedersehen
Though "shoegazing” was but a toddler before it was dismissed by many for its self indulgence and reliance on effects pedals, German-born sound sculptor Ulrich Schnauss left many tongues wagging with a throwback to "the scene that celebrated itself” on his 2004 breakthrough album, A Strangely Isolated Place. "What I really liked about that time was that the line between electronic and indie music was very recognisable — there was a constant exchange of ideas that had an anti-purist attitude. It was melancholy escapism but at the same time, it had a hopeful feeling. It was something I could definitely relate to very much as a kid, and still today, actually,” says Schnauss.

On all three of his albums to date, Schnauss has followed his inspiration while earning a name for himself by disguising pop song structures with hushed ambient waves and sprinting beats. And yet the Berliner admits new album Goodbye is the end of an era for his music. "It was never meant to be a trilogy; I don’t want it to sound like it was a plan,” he explains. "But I had this idea before [2001’s] Far Away Trains Passing By to merge electronic instrumentation and indie songwriting. I think with Goodbye I’ve done everything I can with that idea, which is basically why it turned into an accidental trilogy.”

In the vein of his heroes like Slowdive and Seefeel, Schnauss’s next move will find him working without a deliberate framework in mind — a motion best realised on Goodbye’s "In Between the Years.” "I think restricting yourself to a verse-chorus-verse structure and such conventional methods was very liberating,” he says, "but doing that for six years now I think I’d like to move on to a more unstructured form of electronic music where I can explore sounds and the atmospheric side a bit more. I came out with a lot of interesting sounds in the making of Goodbye but I couldn’t really explore it to the full potential.”