Electric Circus, Edinburgh
Sunday March 17th 2013
The first time Ulrich Schnauss appeared in Edinburgh, back on Easter Sunday 2008 at the Voodoo Rooms, there wasn't a still body in the room, such was the infectiousness of Schnauss' laptop-generated electronica that has since defined a mashed-up hybrid of dancefloor indie some might call Shoe-Rave. Since then, Schnauss seems to have found his time, as assorted nouveau sonic cathedralists appear to have caught up with him.
Schnauss' latest visit tied in with the release of his long-awaited fourth album under his own name, A Long Way To Fall, a deliciously warm concoction which humanises electronica in a way other laptop-based artists fear to tread. This is so even as Schnauss stands over his kit with total concentration, while a a female sidekick stands opposite him, equally rapt over her laptop.
The result of all this, with impressionistic films beamed out on the venue's multi-screen set-up behind the performers, is as panoramic and emotionally driven as anything by the guitar-driven Durutti Column, whose output Schnauss' oeuvre resembles more than any of his knob-twiddling peers.
But this is no dinner-party background chill-out routine. The volume is refreshingly pulverising, so there's a real physical whoosh to the already propulsive soundscape. It may not have the room in motion quite as much as four Easters ago – although one lone groover at the front of the stage is clearly caught in the moment's flow – but the same synapse-twanging euphoria is very much in evidence.
The List, March 2013