The shoe-gazer phenomenon of the early Nineties exploded out of the UK like a giant sunburst of swirling guitars, distorted synths, and cascades of feedback. By the end of the decade the heat of the movement had waned. Now Germany's Ulrich Schnauss is breathing new life into its ethereal textures by grounding his cosmic tones with strong hip-hop beats that get a body moving. Schnauss was largely unknown outside the indie underground until his 2003 album A Strangely Isolated Place made him a critic's darling. When he performs live expect him to cart out synths and keyboards to supplement his keen awareness of the latest tracks percolating on the Continent.
1. Emiliana Torrini, Fisherman's Woman (Rough Trade)
2. Longview, "Coming Down" (WEA International)
3. Mercury Rev, The Secret Migration (V2)
4. Engineers, Engineers (Echo)
5. Kasabian, Kasabian (BMG)
6. Alog, Miniatures (Rune Grammofon)
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7. Edgar Froese, Dalinetopia (Eastgate)
8. Bloc Party, "So Here We Are" (V2)
9. Air Formation, Stay Inside, Feel Everything (Clairecords)
10. Auburn Lull, Cast from the Platform (Darla)