The music of Ulrich Schnauss and Jonas Munk is both reminiscent of their individual works and completely it’s own intimate beast. Both musicians are adept, prodigious even, in the studio. The studio is an extension of themselves; an instrument to be used much like a synthesizer, guitar, or sequencer. They not only build music, but worlds as they fade in and fade out pieces of the musical puzzle. Compressors, limiters, tube preamps, and chromed-out condensor mics all help them along to create the exquisite sounds embedded into the grooves of the vinyl record. Or hidden in the zeros and ones that make up the streaming magic that emanates from the air pods.
I’ve been a fan of both Schnauss and Munk for years; first within their own individual projects and then again when they released 2017s Passage. Four years later and we’ve finally been gifted that masterpiece’s follow-up, the hazy and dreamy Eight Fragments Of An Illusion, which will drop on 4/23(preorders are up now.) Where Passage basked in the glow of ambientgaze(ambient and shoegaze guys…just made that one up), Eight Fragments seems destined for afternoon dreaming and existential pondering. This is less of a 4AD vibe and more saturated in Windham Hill vibes. Touches of new age and ambient soundscapes dominate what’s been released so far, but with plenty of emotion and big sky melody to keep you engaged fully.
On album cut “Perpetual Motion” we are gifted a 10-minute sway of pure sonic bliss. The track is a massive uplift of shimmering synths and bubbling echoes of a new day dawning. Ulrich and Jonas lock into the universe sighing and turn that into a gorgeous swath of Komische swirls and Berlin School moods. Notes reverberate and echo long enough to create an almost rhythm from their degradation.
Motion from fading away.
This record has been a long time coming, with Schnauss and Munk having been working on this album for over three years, and recording most of it in Schnauss’ London recording studio. From “Perpetual Motion”, as well as “Asteroid 2467” and the lilting “Faint Lights In The Distance”, we’re looking at one of the best albums of the year.
‘Eight Fragments Of An Illusion’ will be released on 4/23 via Azure Vista Records. Preorder it here.