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  Ulrich Schnauss  
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Ulrich Schnauss presents us with this little EP to tide us over until his next album. Technically this EP does not contain anything new from him, but that does not mean that it is not interesting. There are 4 tracks here, so let me go over each.

The EP starts off with a new edit of Stars, off of 2007's Goodbye LP. It's not an intensive edit, and it doesn't fundamentally alter the song much. I guess it shortens it into a radio-friendly single format. HA! Like commercial radio in this country would ever play anything like this! Stars is a swirling miasma of simple chugging beats, synth tones in big washes, and a dispassionate female voice. Nice if you like that sort of thing, but i just don't think even a single edit like this will displace Hannah Montana from the airwaves…

The next track is Look at the Sky, which was also on the Quicksand Memory EP. There we were given guitarist Rob McVey's edit of the song, which was a straight-up shoegazer tune with layers of guitar distortion. Well, here we have Herr Schnauss's mix, and he naturally makes the song more minimalist. Instead of the haze of guitar, here there is a simple guitar riff, heavily echoed, playing against an acoustic guitar and Schnauss's faint beats. It is a really lovely, stripped down tune, with Judith Beck's vocals used to great effect.

The next track we have is Stars again, only this time we have the Kunstlerpaar Dub mix by Andrew Prinz, of Mahogany. Although i am fond of Mr. Prinz's band, i am not too familiar with his remix work, so this was an extra treat. (In fact, it was the presence of this mix that convinced me to pick up the EP.) If anything, Mr. Prinz takes the song and makes it even more epic. It begins with a drone and some massive drum sounds that fade suddenly, to be replaced by the main keyboard melody of Stars under such a heavy layer of echo that it sounds syncopated. Prinz layers some sounds clean and loud, and some diffuse and subtle. It is actually a nice mix.

Finally, we have the Maps remix of Stars. I am not familiar with this artist, although i like what i hear. This remix starts with a piercing computer metronome sound, before the rest of the song fades in. Maps adds a frenetic beat skittering behind Schnauss's keyboards and Beck's voice. Surprisingly, it works.

The whole EP is about 20 minutes long, and while you are not getting any new music from Mr. Schnauss, fans will find much to enjoy here. I know that i find this to be interesting.

Related Links:

Label Website:
Ulrich Schnauss MySpace:
Mahogany MySpace:
Maps MySpace:
Also on EvilSponge:
    Album: Far Away Trains Passing By
    Compilation appearance: Blue Skied an' Clear
    Festival Performance: South by SouthWest 2005 - Day 2
    EP: Quicksand Memory


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