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VINE VOICEon 27 December 2006
If you like and remember The Cocteau Twins' more atmospheric outings, Brian Eno's sublime "Apollo" (and Roger Eno's "Voices") and albums by Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil, you'll have a small inkling of the musical treasures on this CD...

The music here is highly addictive, the deceptively simple soundscapes rolling around one's head for hours afterwards. Please believe me, the sound samples presented above don't even begin to do the music justice! You've just got to buy this disc, kick back and let it wash over (and into) you.

The production could have been better though. Lots of compression (and subsequent distortion) in parts of the mix spoil headphone listening, although the sublime music won through in the end...

I really recommend this CD. It's far more than *just* chillout music, since it really does get into you. I'm really glad I bought it; so much so I've ordered the previous album......

P.S. April '07 - Some months have passed since I first bought these discs and I wanted to add that they don't stray very far from my CD player... They take repeated listening very well indeed!
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on 17 July 2004
There's something about this disc. Everyone I know that's heard it, from hoodied greeboes to a 48-year-old hard-nosed reactionary porter (no joke) all can't sing its praises enough. Yeah I know, 9/10 reviews of albums on Amazon say, This is is the best album ever!!!! But trust me this one's worth it. Listening to ASIP is something else.
The opening track 'Gone Forever' unfolds with some shimmering, climbing chords that are like an aural equivalent of MDMA rushes, and that's pretty much how it stays for the next 61 minutes. Probably the best way to describe the music is 'fluidic'. The tempo does rise and dip occasionally, but mostly you're coasting on a mix of glowing, tuneful synths, mellow hip-hop beats, funky basslines and the occasional near-operatic vocals from Mr Schnauss' girlfriend Judith. Now if you're thinking, This all sounds a bit too new-age and Grim-Up-North-London for me, don't. This is not only a hundred times more honest than 'Authentic Chants Of The Navanno Tribe' or something like that, but also at least a hundred times better. It's genuinely tough to pick a favourite piece because they're all so great, although the closing title track really does something for me; it's an incredibly cinematic, epic opus that conjures up some wicked imagery. I've sat up for many a night listening to this trying to suss out how Ulrich gets his ideas and builds these tracks and I can only assume that he's something akin to a gifted genius. Hopefully this record will get a wider audience when Domino pick it up, although it would do just fine on word of mouth alone; I honestly can't think of one unfulfilled listener. With luck I've convinced you now to treat yourself (and undoubtedly your mates/family) to this unsung masterpiece from Berlin. Give it a spin and feel the tension and worries dissolve in A Strangely Isolated Place. (Cheesy... but true!). Top marks.
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on 3 February 2005
Theres somthing about Ulrich Schauss music that makes me keep going back to it again and again. Im a big fan of chillout music, stemming from listening to Vangelis and Enigma when I was younger.
Ive always hoped that there would be another artist that could produce music of a similar quality in this genre, Ulrichs approach is very different and very unique. The first track I heard from him was `Nobodys Home` on Nick Warrens Global Underground :24, and it jumped out staight away.
Strangley Isolated Place is Ulrichs second album, and its just as good as `Far Away Trains Passing By`.
Its difficult to pick a favourite track, but I think `Monday - Paracetamol` is superb.
Silky, uplifting and sublime, plug the headphones in, turn off the lights and be prepared to be taken on a journey....
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VINE VOICEon 15 April 2007
If you like and remember The Cocteau Twins' more atmospheric outings, Brian Eno's sublime "Apollo" (and Roger Eno's "Voices") and albums by Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil, you'll have a small inkling of the musical treasures on this CD...

The music here is highly addictive and somehow hypnotic despite the real movement and variety in the tracks, the deceptively simple soundscapes rolling around one's head for hours afterwards. Please believe me, the sound samples presented above (?) don't even begin to do the music justice! You've just got to buy this disc, kick back and let the music wash into you; a very enjoyable experience indeed that can evoke memories and emotions depending on circumstance.........

The production could have been a bit better though. Lots of compression (and subsequent distortion) in parts of the mix spoil headphone listening, although the sublime music, pitch bending and all..... wins through every time...

I give this CD a heartfelt recommendation. It's far more than *just* chillout music, since it really does grow on you. I'm really glad I bought it; so much so I ordered the previous album, which has a similar effect......

P.S. April '07 - Some months have passed since I first bought these discs and I wanted to add that they don't ever stray very far from my CD player... They take repeated listening very well indeed!
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on 21 February 2005
A Strangely Isolated Place is the follow up to Far Away Trains Passing By. An obvious statement perhaps but when you get this in your mitts it really does scream FOLLOW UP at you. The packaging is familiar, the art style and then once you get it in your CD player you're treated to pretty much more of the same, except with a much grander scale as you would expect from a second album. Is this a bad thing? Well no, not really, just don't go into this expecting to hear something that advances upon Far Away.... by light years. Luckily for our Ulrich, nobody out there crafts such well layered soaring music like him. Perhaps if he was a Warp artist and had churned out an IDM album by number then we would have some cause for concern.
The key to Ulrich is creating songs that don't rely on abstract electronica, too many albums out there get bogged down in technical tweakings that the music loses its purpose. Ulrich layers wonderful synths on top of each other that creates an amazing chorus of sound. Music in widescreen. Take On My Own as an example, emphatic synths are joined by a subtle vocal in a track which is chilled yet has a bit of purpose about it. A track so good that Sasha gave it his own tweakings and made it the closer on his Involver album. It sounds electronic yet organic at the same time. Sasha himself said he was suprised when it came to remixing Ulrich, where he expected to find guitars in the track it was actually well crafted synths. Where this album falls over in comparison to its predecessor is that I can sit there an pick a few as being my outright favourites. Far Away... was only 6 tracks long but 4 of the tracks are firmly burn to the aural parts of my brain. A Strangely Isolated Place holds together well as an album, crafting a constant mood throughout, but it lacks in places those shining stand out moments that Far Away... had.
Put that aside, however, since this is a quality album and well worth a purchase if you have got and love Far Away..., those of you investigating Ulrich for the first time could do well to pick up Far Away first, its got that original sparkle to it. Those of you who have both albums now and crave a bit more Ulrich, check out the remixes he did for Justin Robertson's Revtone project on Bugged Out! or the unreleased track that Tom Middleton managed to acquire for his Sound Of The Cosmos mix (which makes it onto both CD and the vinyl copies for those wanting to have some mixing pleasures of their own).
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on 30 January 2005
This CD took my breath away. With its superb blend of mellow chill out groove and deeply ambient multi layered sinths.....believe the hype, Ulrich Schnauss has produced a classic.
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on 3 August 2016
It's no masterpiece, but around half of A Strange Isolated Place..." is genuinely jaw-droppingly great, and that's a better hit-rate than most artists (electronic or otherwise) manage nowadays. I bought it after hearing the motorik "On My Own" on a Jockey Slut sampler many years ago - it's still my favourite track, but "Clear Day" and the climatic title song are almost as good. The album's bits manage to sound like Slowdive and Boards Of Canada concurrently - spellbinding melancholic synths that conspire to conceal something far darker lingering beneath a saccharine veneer.
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on 24 August 2014
Very observant comparisons. Aphex Twin is different to this. Not the "Head over heels" Cocteau sound which is a banshees / john McKay ripoff from when Cocteau were teens (and I wasn't conscious yet). Ulrich? Yep it's built on that Cocteaus sound, probably by accident as he is so much younger. I think this stuff sounds more like ZTT/Proaganda / slave to the rythym . But now we have the real thing back as they are finally together (as you know).
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on 22 August 2005
I've only just recently heard about Ulrich Schnauss through a wonderful re-mix he did of Justin Robertson Presents Revtone's - Love Movement. So I looked up his work and came across this album.
The first thing that popped into my head when I heard this album was the term 'Shoegazing', i.e. the Cocteau Twins etc., but with a modern coating. This album is electronica, but mixed in is the famous dreamy, reverb filled 'Wall of Sound' style and a small bit of Boards of Canada thrown in. It's pleasant album to listen to and has a nice relaxed feeling to it.
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on 6 September 2014
Good Download, Not his best(Only my opinion) but still a must if you like Ulrich. Good quality!
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