Top 100 Artists of the Decade: #51 Ulrich Schnauss
The Top 100 Artists of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one artist and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 artist of the decade!
Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.
#51 Ulrich Schnauss
You know those far off little villages you see in medieval paintings, all majestic and trippy, floating high in the hills in the background of the painting? That's where I imagine Ulrich Schnauss' music must come from. It's like a place that you know from a dream - a whole melodic world swirling and building. No one creates imaginary worlds in your head like Ulrich.
A Berliner, Schnauss' electronic edifices begin with German Krautrock foundations, the biggies, like Kraftwerk and Neu. He adds the ambient mortar of new-agers like Tangerine Dream or Jean Michel Jarre, plastering with the elements of the style that eventually came to be known as shoegaze (bands like Ride or the more commercial Chapterhouse). He rests all this on an ambient landscape, ala Brain Eno.
What initially emerged from Schnauss' process was something that sounded like a more serious version of Lemon Jelly (particularly on his first LP, Far Away Trains Passing By). Over time, his sound has matured into something more textured and unique (A Strangely Isolated Place, being a great example - an almost perfect album). His later work adds sonic layers upon layers to produce songs that are both complex and artful, yet strangely accessible. Ultimately, he creates an odd new place that's hopeful, beautiful, and worth living in.
Check back tomorrow for the next artist! To see the full list of the Top 100 Artists of the Decade, click here.