4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Best German Band Since The Scorpions!!!!,
This review is from: Neon Golden (Audio CD)
The Scorpions are by no means the finest German band to have ever existed and their contribution to music didn't really stretch much farther than 'Wind of Change'. That said, it is difficult to think of many German exports that have proved successful, Kraftwerk are an obvious choice, and more recently Timo Haas, but other than that Die Fantastischen Vier are the only band to stick in my mind. Give a warm welcome, then, to Notwist. They have been around making some quite indifferent music to the pleasure of a very small minority since the early 90s. With the release of 'Neon Golden' though they have become serious players who can produce enigmatic, tranquil yet energetic electronica.
It is often bewildering, strange and complex but at no point does it ever get too clever for its own good or stretch itself too far. Though to all extent and purposes a dance album, this is gifted with a beating heart and genuine sentiment which sets it apart from most of its contemporaries.
Like Air and New Order, Notwist have created a living being out what is often the musical equivalent of a tinman. The variety and combination of sounds on 'Neon Golden' is a major factor in this, 'Trashing Days' combines banjo with synth effects, horns and strings to make a quite unique, otherworldly sound.
Every track has its own 'special effect' which sets it apart from the others, but each at the same time is linked to its predecessor by the whirr of a synth or the ongoing murmur of a bass. Despite its vast variety of sound though everything fits together perfectly. This cohesion is provided by Acher's fragile voice, reminiscent of David Kitt, which has the flow and melodies required to carry each track in the right direction.
This is a quite beautiful album, reminiscent of New Order at times and Kraftwerk at others, but significantly for the most part they sound quite unlike anything else. Though not to everybody's taste, this should be rewarded by an investigation if not a buy.