Ulrich Schnauss was born in the northern German seaport of Kiel in 1977. He became interested in a range of music: My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Tangerine Dream, Chapterhouse, and early bleep and breakbeat tracks. There was not much opportunity to see his musical influences in Kiel, so he moved to Berlin in 1996.
Ulrich's musical output began under the pseudonyms of View to the Future and Ethereal 77. These electronica and drum-driven pieces were noticed by Berlin electronica label CCO (City Centre Offices), to which Schnauss sent CD's on a regular basis. Ulrich developed these submissions to CCO into his first album under his own name, Far Away Trains Passing By, released in Europe in 2001, and in the United States in 2005.
Performing at Bestival (2008)
His next album, 2003's A Strangely Isolated Place, showed the influence of My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields and Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie. Schnauss has said of this album, "When you've worked with computers and keyboards for a number of years, they become not so fascinating of themselves anymore. I gained confidence after people began to discover Far Away Trains Passing By, and it hasn't really stopped since then. This time I decided not to compromise on what I wanted to do, with what I thought people might want me to do."
Since the release of both albums Ulrich has been asked to work with and remix with artists, including port-royal, Mojave 3, Airiel, A Shoreline Dream, Asobi Seksu, Televise, Longview, Johannes Schmoelling, The Zephyrs, Lunz (Roedelius), and others.
He also plays keyboards for UK indie band Longview, whose singer Rob McVey was featured on Ulrich's next album, Goodbye. In an interview he said: "I have always loved music that has both elements: melancholy and sadness as a description of the current situation you are in, but at the same time a hopeful, utopian element that reminds you of the possibility of a different life."
His third album, Goodbye, was completed in early 2007. It was released in Europe by Independiente Records on 25 June 2007. The United States release followed on 10 July under Domino Records. Regarding this album, he said: "The overall idea was pretty much the same. I just wanted to merge the indie songwriting elements and electronic instrumentation. After the previous album I still had a feeling like there was more room to take these ideas to an extreme level when it comes to layering and laying down as many tracks as possible."
On 12 June 2007, Ulrich released an EP named Quicksand Memory. It contains two remixes by Robin Guthrie of previous releases, a mix by Rob McVey of a previously unreleased track, and an edit of a track appearing on his latest album.
In the spring of 2008, Ulrich remixed two tracks by the Manchester-based shoegaze band Daniel Land and The Modern Painters. On 27 October 2008, the two tracks, "Within the Boundaries" and "Benjamin's Room", were released as a double A-side 7" single by the independent record label Sonic Cathedral, the label's 11th release.
In July 2008, the Stars EP was released to support his June/July US tour. A co-produced/co-written track with A Shoreline Dream titled "neverChanger" was released on an EP of the same name. Ulrich traveled out for a short tour with the band in Texas and Colorado to promote this effort, and performed this track with A Shoreline Dream during his performances.
In 2010, Schnauss was involved in the mixing of Exit Calm's self-titled debut album.
Schnauss also provided keyboards and backing vocals on Engineers' third album, In Praise of More. Schnauss also played as a headlining act for the "Phrase One" festival held in the small Irish town of Carrick-on-Shannon on 19 April 2013.
Has been a member of Tangerine Dream since 2014.