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Knocking on the front door of Ulrich Schnauss’s unassuming London terraced-house hardly prepares you for the veritable Aladdin’s cave of desirable vintage synthesizer delights contained within.
A long-time exponent and ambassador for ambient electronic music, Schnauss’s new album, Tomorrow is Another Day, fashioned along with Mark Peters, guitarist of Engineers, is a beautiful, mesmeric sonic-trip and the many warm tones within it highlight Schnauss’s eclectic palette of synthesizers and sound design tools, both analogue and, refreshingly, digital.
Walking into Ulrich Schnauss’s nerve-centre is a little overwhelming given that most of the vintage synthesizers and sought-after outboard you’ve ever dreamed about owning are to be found strewn around the studio.
As trite as it is to admit, the phrase ‘Carlsberg don’t do electronic studio set-ups...’ is on heavy internal rotation as FM giddily flit from one incredible synth to another.
Schnauss is much more than a random collector, though. Every piece of equipment, be it keyboard or 19-inch rack-unit, has been bought and deployed for specific reasons and his passion for electronic instruments is matched by his intimate knowledge of what each synth is capable of bringing to the feast. Whether it’s the legendary Elka Synthex that first greets you as you enter the studio, the Oberheim OB-8, Rhodes Chroma or even the Waldorf Wave that sits on the back wall, FM get the distinct impression that Schnauss has explored and charted everything they have to offer during countless late-night dream weaving sessions.
Read on to take a guided tour of Schnauss’ synth-stuffed studio, and pick up the latest issue of Future Music (FM276) to read a full interview with the man himself.