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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Ulrich Schnauss

Rating: 8/10 ?

July 6, 2007
The end of a loose trilogy that began with Far Away Trains Passing By, 2007's Goodbye finds German electronica artist Ulrich Schnauss expanding on the ambient-leaning dream-pop of his lauded '03 sophomore outing, A Strangely Isolated Place. Recorded in relative seclusion in Schnauss's hometown of Kiel, the album is literally miles away from a club-oriented Berlin aesthetic, yet its shimmering, shoegazing tracks maintain a subtle techno veneer.

What Schnauss seems primarily concerned with on Goodbye is layering, reportedly orchestrating more than 100 audio tracks at some moments on the record. This more-is-more aesthetic is best revealed on "Shine," a slowly drifting iceberg of a song that nearly overwhelms the listener with waves of synthesizers and chiming guitars, while whispery vocals float in like lingering spirits of long-forgotten 4AD releases. While some tracks are steeped in Eno-esque abstract ambience (see the woozy, keyboard-driven "Einfeld"), Schnauss also ventures into dark and brooding territory on Goodbye, as dramatically displayed on the distortion-filled "Medusa," which wouldn't have been out of place on the last album by his fellow synth-loving European tour-mates M83.

With the absence of any clear-cut dance-friendly singles (i.e. "On My Own" from Strangely Isolated) and few tracks that feature anything resembling a pop melody (the notable exception being the swirling, beat-driven "Stars"), Goodbye is generally content to linger in the nebulous space near Seefeel's Quique and Boards of Canada's The Campfire Headphase, making it an album that doesn't immediately astound, but gradually unfurls in dense atmospheric strands.

Reviewed by Eric Schneider
A freelance writer and editor based in Saratoga Springs, New York, Eric Schneider is a regular contributor to LAS.

See other reviews by Eric Schneider



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