Exciting news! A new Notwist album! The first (notwithstanding the 2009
film soundtrack 'Sturm') for six years. Their last, 'You, The Devil & Me',
remains one of my favorite albums of all time. Expect extreme bias here!
The abiding magic of Notwist's work has much to do with the outfit's ability
to imbue electronica with poetry and a big warm-hearted humane spirit.
This has everything and more to do with singer/writer Markus Archer, a gentle
visionary whose tentative and ethereal voice is one of life's small treasures.
There are twelve numbers in the set. It's all good. Very very good in fact.
Highlights, however, would have to include opening track 'Signals' which kicks off
with a restrained bubbling and bleeping synth riff joined, shortly after by Mr Archer's
doleful vocal entry, by a crackling beat which propels the song forward as the
mix gains in density with the addition of further layers of percussion and keys.
'Kong' romps along like a happy puppy which has slipped its lead and sports a
positively uplifting melody and harmonies and some wonderfully slippery string
decorations. The largely acoustic 'Casino' and 'Stepping In' bring a sense of
of deep melancholy to the proceedings. The latter is one of Mr Archer's finest
compositions; quite easily one of the most beautiful and touching songs I've heard
this year. The warm pulse and wave-like flow of 'Lineri', an instrumental and the
longest invention in the collection, is shot through with keening electric guitar
embellishments and although reaching no clear destination leaves a vibrating
emotional imprint long after the final bars have faded into a soft blue oblivion.
Final track 'They Follow Me', however, is the album's finest moment; a song whose
haunting tune and lyrical ambiguity convey the very essence of love and loneliness.
'Close To The Glass' may well turn out to be my album of the year.
on 20 March 2014
I first found The Notwist with "Neon Golden" which was a great album. Their follow up "The Devil You and Me" had some good moments but their latest release "Close to The Glass" is, I believe, right up there with Neon Golden. Signals is an interesting opener and Close to the Glass carries on and leads into what for me is an obvious highlight Kong. Reminiscent of early New Order but with the distinctive Acher vocals - a great song. From then on melodies and soundscapes abound over the further songs. If yuohave not listened to The Notwist before then give them a try. If you have heard them before then you will not be disappointed.