It's no sworn secret that the '90s shoegazer icons called Slowdive left an everlasting imprint on Ulrich Schnauss' psyche. Taking his cue from the U.K. group's vast, delayed wall of six-string swirls, textured electronics, and distant vocals, Schnauss has created his own IDM-based parallel universe of the Slowdive algorithm, which was first explored with his dead-on remake of the band's "Crazy for You" on the Blue Skied an' Clear tribute album.
His 2001 debut, Far Away Trains Passing By, ushered in a more technocentric message, but Place unleashes the Berlin native's affinity for guitar pop, trip-hop, and ambient compositions. "Gone Forever" begins in a soothing thunderstorm of sounds: whirling synths, cooing vocals, and cathedral organs. "On My Own" follows in grittier fashion, with muted breakbeats, faux horn blares, and a choir of processed howls, exploding into well-layered, fuzzy electro. "Monday-Paracetamol" and "Blumenthal" are dusted, twilight soundscapes welcoming you back from a self-medicated coma. Slowdive's Neil Halstead might've wandered, without looking back, into the folkier comfort of Mojave 3. But Schnauss has capably carried the sonic torch, marrying the dream-world artifice of software-made music with the man-made reverie of his forbears in epic fashion. -- Kiran Aditham
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