Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Feb 26th 2010 11:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
Schnauss, sitting behind a computer and fussing with the myriad wire-spouting devices that are the tools of his trade, looked like the type of guy that might work in one of those buildings. He wore a simple button-down shirt and sensible slacks, and as he tweaked his various music-making gizmos, stirring up molasses-thick waves of digital noise, he appeared too meek and mild-mannered to be creating such somnambulant sonic majesty.
If Schnauss is more hardcore than he looks, the same is true of his New York City fans. Outside the Bell House -- and indeed, all across Brooklyn, the five boroughs, and much of the Northeast -- snow fell Thursday night with dizzying ferocity, turning sidewalks to luge tracks.
The 100 or 150 people that braved the storm must have really, really wanted to hear some electronic shoegaze.
That's exactly what they got -- nothing more, nothing less. Schnauss, who has released a handful of albums and remixed tracks by such artists as Asobi Seksu and Depeche Mode, performed without a microphone and did almost nothing to acknowledge the crowd. His movements were quick and precise, more the work of a craftsman than a showman.
To bask in his choral-like synths and throbbing beats -- some harried, some funky, most pleasantly monotonous -- was akin to staring too closely at one of Georges Seurat's brushstrokes, a la Cameron in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off.' Schnauss' unwieldy, slowly unwinding compositions might actually be gorgeous pop songs, but recognizing them as such seems to require some distance.
Maybe the folks living further up 7th Street, hearing the drone as they shoveled their stoops, got a truer sense of what Schnauss was going for. Better still, when the show was over, they didn't have to trudge home in the snow.