Ulrich Schnauss - Quicksand Memory EP

Shoegazer or stargazer? It's a good question in relation to Ulrich Schnauss. The German admits to being influenced by Ride and Slowdive, in addition to such masters of trippy dance music as 808 State and The Orb.

Look At the Sky is the sort of track for which (to reference Mansun) no space seems wide or open enough. A female vocal somewhere between a whisper and a rasp struggles against huge chiming guitars. It's all in the title, but consider this an invitation to lie back in the grass, stare upwards and consider your (small) place in the universe; surprisingly, the overall effect is one of elation. Medusa, taken from forthcoming album Goodbye, begins with bleeps before descending into My Bloody Valentine territory, the guitars sounding "off" (like a cassette player dragging a tape) or swallowing everything else in the mix.

The remainder is given over to Robin Guthrie (co-founder of Cocteau Twins) remixing two tracks from previous Schnauss album A Strangely Isolated Place, but it's hard to tell the difference between influencer and influenced. Sadly, Quicksand Memory EP runs out of steam well before the end, but not before crossing from wonder into dreariness.



out of 10

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