A Long Way to Fall... Not pictured: dancing chimney sweeps
Review: Ulrich Schnauss – A Long Way to Fall
Published on January 21st, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Mysterious Berlin producer Ulrich Schnauss returns with a fourth solo album’s worth of shoegaze-informed electronica, and Rocksucker is happy to confirm that he still does it very well indeed.
Opener “Her and the Sea” channels that Cocteau Twins influence in its shimmering, gleaming, crystalline way, inscribing the other side of the coin with the kind of whirring, technicolour, gentle psychedelia that won hearts on LPs such as 2001 debut Far Away Trains Passing By, 2003’s A Strangely Isolated Place and 2007’s Goodbye. “Broken Homes” pops and crackles luxuriously like some executive bubblewrap breakfast cereal, while the nicely ambling trot of “Like a Ghost in Your Own Life” comes across like a less sinister Boards of Canada, wielding a vaguely comparable sense of nostalgia without getting all warped (pun half-intended) about it.
We then get the blaring, pupil-dilating ambiance of the title track before the splendidly titled “I Take Comfort in Your Ignorance” guides us into grittier terrain with some croaking robotics (yes folks, croaking robotics). The ensuing “A Forgotten Birthday” does a splendid job of leading light into dark, “The Weight of Darkening Skies” mixes it up a tad with a Daft Punk-y kind of synth voice, then “Ten Years” offers a fitting microcosm of A Long Way to Fall by building into a softly stormy flurry from the eminently Schnauss-ian launch pad of crystalline synth, rattling ‘n’ rolling percussive elements and some satisfying squelchiness for the synaesthetically inclined amongst us.
Curtain-closer “A Ritual in Time and Death” throws hammering beats and whirring (there’s that word again) electronics before settling into a sort of rolling/marching beat, and there you have it: another colourful, flavoursome, dreamy and meticulously constructed installment from Ulrich Schnauss. Need we say any more?
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!
A Long Way to Fall is out now on Scripted Realities. For more information, please visit www.ulrich-schnauss.com