Unwind with The Notwist
The Notwist are back with "Close To The Glass," their latest collection of finely-crafted
moody indie electro-rock, and they're ready to show it off to the world.
The band tours regularly in
Europe, blowing away crowds from Berlin to Bristol to Bologna, and they also take on North America. In 2014, the band will
play shows in places like Toronto, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and at the prestigious
Sasquatch Music Festival in George, WA.
While the band is known for their potent mix of indie-rock,
folk and minimalist electronica, they started off as something quite different. Originally they were a hardcore punk band,
with two albums' worth of thudding power riffs, crashing cymbals and screamo-style vocals. Then there was a brief foray into
freestyle jazz, before their fourth album, 1998's "Shrink," gave us the first hints of the kinder, gentler Notwist we've come
to know and love. Then came the release of their breakout album, 2002's "Neon Golden," and everything truly clicked.
The first thing you'll noticed about the music these guys pump out is the vulnerable, half-whispered confessional croon
of lead singer Markus Acher. Resident techno-maestro Martin Gretschmann lends the band its signature dance beats and electronic
bleeps and whistles. Acher's brother Michael rounds out the trio with a strong rock background. Somewhere in the middle is
the unlikely synergy of these strange elements, meshing perfectly to form something new and beautiful.
After spending the 1990s trying out different styles and slowly gaining a European following, the band came out with "Neon
Golden" in 2002, a sparse, heartbreaking, yet surprisingly infectious album that really put the band on the international
musical map. It earned a spot on Pitchfork Magazine's Top 200 Albums of the 2000s, started selling tickets around the world,
and scored the band a record deal with legendary American indie label Sub Pop Records.
meteoric success of "Neon Golden," these notorious perfectionists have only released two albums, spending the time in between
writing, rewriting, mixing, remixing, throwing everything out and starting all over again. 2008's "The Devil, You + Me" solidified
their place as masters of mumble-indie-electronica and was called "nearly flawless" by NPR. Next out came 2014's "Close To
The Glass," another daring, unpredictable collection of songs, containing everything from the catchy lead pop single,
"Kong," to some of the band's most experimental work yet, like the nine-minute instrumental "Lineri."
The first things you'll notice about Notwist concerts is how fully packed the stage usually is. The band tours as a six-piece,
drafting three more players to man the band's guitars, keys, drums, electronic pads, scratch decks, xylophones, sequencers
and whole laboratory of other music-making equipment. There's something about a Notwist concert that seems a bit like mad
science, or even alchemy. With all six members hunched intensely over their strange machinery, working fiercely to build these
complex sonic textures and lay over top of Acher's sad, sweet vocals, and it all converges into something that is both affecting
and danceable. The rhythms are tight and the many, many instrument changes are seamless, and the overall effect is mesmerizing.
It's a captivating and ambitious emotional journey from euphoria to deep despair to utter wonderment - and it makes you want
to bust a move, too.