Home Ulrich Schnauss & Mark Peters Underrated Silence

Underrated Silence

Underrated Silence


Underrated Silence

Because you probably haven’t heard it before, go ahead and spend six minutes digesting Ulrich Schnauss’ 2003 gem “A Letter From Home.” It is not remarkable, just a perfectly executed, wonderfully warm eruption of montage-pop – one of those rare moments you almost resent for being so pretty. The thirtysomething German producer has been generating this sort of heart-swollen beatifica to almost no cultural penetration, critical or commercial, for nearly two decades now. He’s the crossover soda-pop electro-merchant that never was, a would-be Ben Gibbard collaborator, the type of guy who makes giant, life-affirming, euphoria-glazed dance music for a small, but dedicated segment of the population.

So here’s one of his frostier records – Underrated Silence – I’ll let you decide if the title is too much of a fold. A partner-project with the similarly-minded engineer Mark Peters, it’s a breezy, amniotic thing structured out of gauzy synths and deformed, sepia-toned guitars. It’s the sort of album that comes right of his wheelhouse; an ambient, pulse-less voyage in gentle, milky texture. Like most things the man writes, it’s undeniably pretty, but it’s hard accepting its courtesy as a long-term concern.

Hey, at least give him credit for sticking with a concept. There’s no use in talking about Underrated Silence in songs because, well, they’re just momentarily pauses in a dulcet glide. A few new elements fold in, the vaguely ragga bounce to “Rosen im Asphalt,” the globby fuzz on “Amoxicillin,” but there’s no doubt these men wanted to build a record first. A polite, undemanding excursion – frustratingly stuck to its own sonic landscape. For Schnauss, a man who’s greatest moments come when he’s willfully ambivalent about any level of pragmatism, it can leave a little to be desired. These computer-furnished drips of contentment are not rare, and they can make Ulrich sound annoyingly ordinary. Perhaps the presence of a collaborator reigned his cosmic demeanor into a more grounded realm, here’s hoping next time he gets back to the stars.


Band: http://www.myspace.com/ulrichschnauss

Label: http://www.bureau-b.com