Throughout his multi-decade career, German musician Ulrich Schnauss has bridged beat-driven electronic production with the swirling textures and melancholy but hopeful melodicism of shoegaze and indie rock. Working under various electronic styles since the mid-'90s, Schnauss developed his signature style with acclaimed releases under his own name such as 2001's Far Away Trains Passing By and 2003's A Strangely Isolated Place, which established him as one of the most notable indie electronic artists. He remixed or produced artists ranging from Mojave 3 and Asobi Seksu to Sia and Depeche Mode, and performed as a member of the indie rock bands Longview and Engineers. Since the early 2010s, he's recorded albums with Engineers' Mark Peters (such as 2013's Tomorrow Is Another Day) and Jonas Munk, aka Manual (including 2021's Eight Fragments of an Illusion). Schnauss has also been a member of electronic music pioneers Tangerine Dream since 2014.
Ulrich Schnauss was born in Kiel, a seaport city in Northern Germany, in 1977. He took piano lessons as a child, and started making electronic music during the 1990s. He began releasing techno and acid records with Frank Müller as Beroshima in 1994, and issued atmospheric drum'n'bass under the pseudonyms Ethereal 77, the Extremist, and View to the Future. He also had a short-lived electro project with Alex Krüger called Hair, and produced minimal techno as Hexaquart. Living in Berlin since 1996, he released his first full-length under his own name, Far Away Trains Passing By, on the City Centre Offices label in 2001. The dreamy downtempo album was a word-of-mouth success, and its 2003 follow-up, the more shoegaze-influenced Far Away Trains Passing By, was even more popular and acclaimed.
Schnauss played keyboards in Longview, and collaborated with the band on a 2003 EP. Longview's Rob McVey appeared on Goodbye, Schnauss' third album, which was released by Independiente and Domino in 2007. Quicksand Memory, an EP that preceded the album, included remixes by Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie. Schnauss issued the EP Stars in 2008, and released singles with dream pop bands Pia Fraus and A Shoreline Dream. He toured with A Shoreline Dream and appeared on their 2009 album Recollections of Memory.
The 2010 Rocket Girl release Missing Deadlines: Selected Remixes collected Schnauss' reworks of songs by A Sunny Day in Glasgow, Mojave 3, Asobi Seksu, and others. His debut collaboration with Jonas Munk was issued by Pedigree Cuts under the name Epic; several addition configurations of the album subsequently appeared under multiple titles. Also in 2010, Schnauss collaborated with former Opus III singer Kirsty Hawkshaw, releasing the limited Two Trees EP. Schnauss began collaborating with Müller again, contributing to Beroshima releases for the first time since 2000. Schnauss performed and recorded with Engineers, and collaborated with the band's Mark Peters on the 2012 album Underrated Silence, released by Bureau B. He also collaborated with experimental drum'n'bass producer ASC on the Auxiliary-issued 77 EP. A Long Way to Fall, Schnauss' fourth solo album, was the debut release on his Scripted Realities imprint, arriving in early 2013. Tomorrow Is Another Day, a second album with Peters, also appeared that year.
Schnauss became a member of Tangerine Dream in 2014, joining group founder Edgar Froese, violinist/cellist Hoshiko Yamane, and multi-instrumentalist Thorsten Quaeschning. After Froese died in 2015, subsequent Tangerine Dream releases like 2015's Quantum Key and 2017's Quantum Gate included material conceptualized by the band's founder prior to his death. Schnauss released the solo album No Further Ahead Than Today in 2016, and Quaeschning & Schnauss issued their first duo collaboration, Synthwaves, in 2017. Other collaborations that appeared during the year included Passage (with Munk) and Snöflingor EP (with Swedish drum'n'bass producer Seba). Schnauss formed Measured with Brian Wenckebach and Evagelia Maravelias of electro-shoegazers Elika, and their debut single, "My Heart Waits," was released by Sonic Cathedral in 2019. Schnauss remastered all of his solo albums and issued them (along with a bonus disc of unreleased material and outtakes) as the seven-CD box set Now Is a Timeless Present; the albums were also individually reissued in 2020. Eight Fragments of an Illusion, a third collaboration with Munk, appeared on Azure Vista in 2021.
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