Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ulrich the shoetronicer?

MMM loves (I am not going to join the bandwagon of saying that I heart everything) Ulrich Schnauss. My man Ulrich clearly outshined M83 at their show in September, which I why when I have the choice of seeing him on his own, or opening for the M83 again in March, I am clearly seeing the headlining show at Rothko on March 16.

Ulrich's sound is sort of easy to describe yet clumsy too. He clearly loves his shoegazer rock (as evidenced by the links on his webpage, but he creates his ethereal swirls of melody on a keyboard and a Mac. His first album, Far Away Trains Passing By (2001), has unfortunately not been released in America - so go out and download it anyway you can! I am not one for encouraging the violation of copyright law, but you aren't violating the law if you qualify for one of the fair use exceptions and downloading something you can't possibly buy should come under that exception (but don't take my word - I am no lawyer or nothing). The first two tracks, "Knuddelmaus" (which was a standard track for many of the downtempo copilations of 2001/2002) and "Between Us and Them" are excellent, beautiful songs, but unfortunately he said he no longer plays the first album live when I talked to him at the Bowery show in September, moments before he mysteriously broke his hand.

Pitchfork arguably created a new genre name today by labeling Ulrich as a "shoetronic German act" - nice one. I ran a Yahoo search (I hyperlinked Yahoo for those of you that may not be familiar with this website - and yes I know Google is a better search engine, I happened to be there and was feeling lazy) for the word "shoetronic" (no hits) and for "shoetronica" one hit on a blog, where someone hypothetically asked whether combining shoegazer and electronica created shoetronica? Hard to say whether the word was an original idea of the Pitchforkers.

To get a first hand sense of Ulrich's sound, here are a bunch of MP3s to shuttle you off to a beautiful field in the middle of nowhere:

"On My Own' - from the new album A Strangely Isolated Place (believe it or not, Sasha managed to fit this song onto his last mix CD, Involver)

Some rarities on his website

On an unrelated note: while finding the link to Ulrich's show at Rothko, I noticed that motherfucking pressure dropper Mylo is playing with a full band there the following week, on March 23. Mylo got some love here with the prestigous COTW award a while back. Another possible show to see.


At 12:39 PM, Blogger rajeev said...

wow, that mylo show is a surprise - nice.


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