Transporting the sound of shoegazer aesthetics into an electronic context, this is how Ulrich Schnauss once described his artistic goal. Influenced by bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Cocteau Twins and Chapterhouse on the one hand, yet wholly at ease with the electronica of bands like the Orb, Bionaut, Orbital, 808 State and unequivocally appreciative of veterans of the genre, Tangerine Dream or Manuel Göttsching, for example. A brother in spirit to Robin Guthrie, one might say - an apposite epithet for Schnauss. His collaborative partner Mark Peters might also be considered his soul brother. Through his band, Engineers, he has similarly found success in following in the footsteps of his musical paragons. Engineers have released wonderful albums of dream-pop, infused with the same spirit as the solo efforts of Schnauss. Peters and Schnauss have been friends for many years and over a year ago, Schnauss joined the ranks of Engineers. For the past couple of years, they have been meeting up sporadically and making music. The fruits of these sessions served as the basis for the ten tracks on this joint album. More used to traditional songwriting, the working process was new to Peters. In the absence of conventional structures, the sole aim of creating an atmosphere was an approach he was somewhat unfamiliar with, but one he found liberating. Working only at night was a decisive factor for Peters, lending the music a somnambulant quality - an effect that was intentional, striving to create something which cannot be ascribed to a particular musical category or zeitgeist. For Schnauss meanwhile, conjuring up an atmosphere through music is the most normal thing in the world: he creates music for those little escapes. On this latest album, Schnauss brings the piano more into play than usual, which enhances the overall impression splendidly. Underrated Silence is a quiet album, for the most part. It's multi-layered fabric reveals something new every time one listens to it - a wealth of fresh discoveries, new rhythms emerging from the sound cloud, hitherto unnoticed melodies illuminating the background. Schnauss and Peters have crafted music which is enchanting in the truest sense of the word - shimmering sounds, floating echoes, rhythmically reverberant chords which wrap themselves around the listener, lifting you into a state of suspension and carrying you gently away.
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