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Sublime stuff from the master of "shoegazer indietronica" Ulrich Schnauss, and Mark Peters, guitarist and songwriter with Engineers. These are two musicians blessed with the ability to create beautifully transporting music and 'Underrated Silence' finds them at their best. With an acute attention to creating the most delicate, soul-suspending moods and atmosphere, their collaborative output recalls the most memorable themes of classic electronica by Boards Of Canada, The Orb, Cocteau Twins or Slowdive, peering over lush pastoral scapes of almost bacchanalian degrees, to the kind of sonic environments we could happily book a two week holiday to, if such a thing were possible. Ultimately it's life-affirming and deeply positive music, maybe not quite deliriously happy, but content and warmly comforting, sensitively balancing melancholy moments like the Stereolab-like swoon of 'Forgotten' with the heart-melting harmonic wow and flutter of 'Yesterday Didn't Exist', always keeping something even sweeter and more lovely up its sleeve.

(2) A somewhat mysterious producer from Berlin, Germany, Ulrich Schnauss debuted under his own name in 2001 with Far Away Trains Passing By. Released by City Centre Offices, the album seemingly came from nowhere and wound up on several journalists' year-end favorites lists, impressing many with a beguiling level of charm that referenced the shimmer of the Cocteau Twins and the beat mining of the Black Dog. Released in 2003, A Strangely Isolated Place, which was much closer to shoegaze than U.K. techno, was followed in 2007 by the multi-layered texturally rich indie electronica of third album Goodbye. The following years would be filled with a multitude of smaller projects, including multiple EP releases and remixes, as well as collaborations with A Shoreline Dream and All in the Golden Afternoon. In late 2009, Schnauss' labels Independiente and Domino sued Guns N' Roses, claiming the band had used portions of Schnauss' compositions in the track "Riad 'n the Bedouins" without permission on the album Chinese Democracy. His tendency toward collaboration continued into the 2010s with full-length works Ulrich Schnauss and Jonas Munk in 2011 and Underrated Silence, a collaborative effort with Mark Peters released in 2012. Schnauss has also had his hands in a number of other projects, including Hexaquart (minimal techno-house) and Ethereal 77 (drum'n'bass), in addition to engineering work for a number of other artists. His 2013 album, A Long Way to Fall, was a return to working without collaborators and featured his most new age-inspired sound to date. Later that year, however, he and Peters reteamed for Tomorrow Is Another Day, which blended their aesthetics even more seamlessly than before. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi

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