According to the duo, Synthwaves ‘pays homage to the masters of the past….Crisp, interlocking patterns are modulated and mutated with mathematical precision into eight pieces of pristine, post-kosmische sounds to float away to.’ Quaeschning and Schnauss spent two weeks in Berlin, in a studio full of vintage synthesizers, analog sequencers and drum machines, creating an album of pure electronic music.
Thanks to Far Away Trains Passing By, an all-too-brief record that encompasses tingly breakbeat, icebox-cold electro, and nippy down-tempo, it shouldn't be too long before Berlin's Ulrich Schnauss gets name-dropping of his own in reviews of up-and-coming producers. Within these six tracks, Schnauss earns his comparisons to Boards of Canada and other members of the electronica elite with nary a reservation to be found. It's not only the sheer strength of the majority of these tracks that make the record so enjoyable; the closing and ending numbers neatly bundle everything together, giving it the feel of a concept record without any of the pretensions…
Ulrich Schnauss is a German electronic artist who is influenced by forebears like Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk–but unlike retro-space artists, he doesn't sound like he just emerged from their dusty studios after being marooned there for 30 years. Instead, his synthesizers bristle with contemporary electro-rhythms, a bit of New Wave romanticism, and melodies you want to last forever. Schnauss has perfected a balance between quiet yearning and joyful heroism in his music, with sweeping major-chord progressions that are triumphal without being ostentatious, expansive without being pompous. For someone who is so rhythm-centered with crackling snares and electro-glitches, it's ultimately the melodies that draw you in, turned on glistening, bell-like timbres and space-organ sustains. Far Away Trains Passing By is actually his first album, released in Europe in 2001, but it's been out of print and is being issued in the United States for the first time. The reissue comes with a bonus CD that includes six pieces pulled from various Schnauss side projects and tracks that didn't make the original album. Far Away Trains Passing By is electronica with a melancholy soul, and it has lost nothing in the intervening years. –John Diliberto
2017 release from the electronic music pioneers. Tangerine Dream have been a fundamental influence on electronic and progressive music since their formation in West Berlin, 1967. Inspiring genres, musicians and other art forms, from The Future Sound of London to Porcupine Tree, the widely popular TV show Stranger Things (for which their music also featured in) to seminal video game Grand Theft Auto V (for which they helped to write the soundtrack). The group have also received seven Grammy nominations, written over 100 studio albums and were led by Edgar Froese, who developed an instantly recognizable synth-based instrumental music based on a meditative musical experience that came to prominence in the '70s and '80s. Quantum Gate promises an updated, contemporary development of their trademark sound: sequencer-driven electronica covering a wide range of moods and atmospheres from ambient soundscapes to energetic, upbeat moments.