The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'ulrich schnauss'
Nu-gazer musician Ulrich Schnauss has made the news. Unfortunately for him, it was in the context of having been sampled by Guns'n'Roses without permission on their long-awaited album Chinese Democracy. In any case, his labels are suing. It is not clear whether Schnauss' loop-based shoegazer electronica will find a new audience as a result of the increased exposure.
The shoegazer movement may have died out in the mid-1990s in most places, but in London, it's alive and well every month at Club AC30. Your Humble Narrator went along to this month's one.
Club AC30 is held at a pub named The Water Rats (presumably after the Australian police soap; I heard that the Poms love Australian TV, but didn't think they'd take it quite this far), not far from King's Cross, and features bands and a DJ.
First up was a Clairecords shoegazer outfit named Air Formation; they took to the stage and proceeded to make a wall of noise not unlike My Bloody Valentine or someone. The sound in the venue, or possibly the mixing, wasn't the best, though, so at times it was hard to tell whether, in fact, the keyboard (a Yamaha CS-1X) was plugged in. Anyway, they were quite good, though I'm not sure if I'll get their CD.
Next up was a Swedish band named Douglas Heart (not to be confused with Douglas Hart, formerly of the Jesus and Mary Chain). They were basically minor-key pop with some shoegazing elements; two guitarists, a bass player, a drummer, a Roland D-50 keyboard (wasn't that the one all the gothic-rock bands used in the 1980s or something?), and a female vocalist, who also played melodica and trumpet. Except that the microphones didn't seem to work very well, and half of the time the audience couldn't hear her. Anyway, they sounded a bit like the Cranes or the Sundays or someone; most of their set didn't grab me, but the last song (a stomping number with a great big fuzzy monster bass line) changed my mind.
The third act was Rachel Goswell, someone who gets invited to these things largely on the strength of what she was doing 10 years ago. Her act these days is basically acoustic-guitar folk, much of the sort you could find at any acoustic open-mike night in Fitzroy. For some of the songs of this gig, she had a band with guitar and bass, though her set still contained no shoegazing action whatsoever. She does, though, have a lovely voice. The audience hushed respectfully as she came on (shushing those still talking amongst them), applauded after each song, and called for an encore, which she obliged them with.
Between sets, Ulrich Schnauss DJed, playing a lot of ambient tracks, ranging from shoegazer to electronica; there were some really nice tracks in the mix he played.
Oh yes, I got Blue Skied An' Clear (the Slowdive tribute CD) in the mail today. I've only listened to part of the first disc so far, and it has its highs and lows. It's rather German and laptoppish and minimal in places, which sometimes works and sometimes not. (As you can imagine, the Pygmalion covers work better than the wall-of-noise shoegazing ones, especially with guessed lyrics sung in high, thickly-accented voices. Manual's cover of Blue Skied An' Clear is particularly nice.)
(And nice to know that the Ulrich Schnauss' approach to Crazy For You is quite different from the one I've been working on for a year or so too...)