Walking a line between what has passed and what is yet to come, seminal band The Notwist have always pioneered a sound that is both definitively new and distinctly theirs. A series of personal, impeccable records lie in their wake, including the classic Neon Golden (“The Notwist have created a masterpiece by pulling the same trick they pulled on Shrink: mixing things that might not seem to fit together into a beautiful, seamless whole” 9.2 Pitchfork). Records whose diverse impressions are tied together with an all-encompassing warmth and bold experimental streak, one which presents itself clearly on their wonderful new album Close To the Glass.
The band's first album in six years, Close to the Glass will be released via City Slang on 24 February 2014 (and Sub Pop in the US the following day). A hook-laden and unpredictable marriage of free-flowing instrumentation and precise programming, the new record is as romantic as it is robotic - filled with the intimate fallibility of the human condition and the colder magnetic pull of modernity.
When The Notwist began in 1989 it was something different entirely but the core of the band has always been boys from Weilheim, a small slice of German countryside, that somehow created the perfect air of inspiration and deprivation that allowed a band like this to begin.
The founders of the band Markus and Micha Acher grew up collecting records and playing jazz with their father, so naturally, the first music they would make as The Notwist was Hardcore, borderline Metal, with a close vocal twist! Always singing in English and always experimenting the two brothers created three dense and progressively catchier records before finding their third half in 1997, Martin Gretchmann (aka Console), a truly daring maverick from the same small town.
On meshing with Martin Gretchmann, they recorded two more full-length’s, allowing their love of folk, classical, grunge, rock, and electronic music to freely blend together, influencing their compositions in equal measures. Six years later they created, The Devil, You + Me which was to prove yet another progression, most importantly in the recording and playing of this album live alongside The Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra.
While they have always created music ripe with authenticity and mood, we find them now defining their edges with no shortage of bravery or beat. A bottomless collage - part pop, part science, part storytelling - the sturdy glue between the unpredictable layers of Close to the Glass is their newfound synergy as a band. Feeling a strong connection and creative trust between band members allowed for the traditional lines between roles and instrument playing to blur more than ever before. Writing, re-writing, recording, erasing, remixing, re-recording and refining songs as one whilst tapping into the energy they possess in spades on stage.
Now in 2013, we find The Notwist poised to perform their rich sonic narratives in the form of Close to the Glass – from the digitally pulsing opener ‘Signals’ to the breakneck tabla tapestry of ‘Close to the Glass’, the electronic renovation of a simple blues song for ‘Run Run Run’, the sedated sadness of ‘Casino’ to the superbly deft motorik outro of ‘Into Another Tune’ to the drowsy brilliance of ‘Lineri’. They are back in exquisite shape.
Fans who pre-order Close To The Glass via iTunes beginning Tuesday 19 November will receive the album’s title track immediately as a download. The album will also be available for pre-order at cityslang.com: fans who pre-order Close To The Glass on LP at cityslang.com will receive the limited Edition of the album on coloured vinyl.
Praise for The Devil, You + Me
‘Krautrock for the 21st century… the most affectingly sad, sweet sepia sound’ 4/5 Mojo
‘[Notwist] manage to continue the evolution, adding extra layers of mesmeric, clicking rhythm and gauzy electronics to wistful melodies’ 4/5 Q
‘A quietly ambitious gem’ 4/5 The Sun
‘Impossibly fragile beauty’ 4/5 Sunday Times ‘Culture’
‘Puts brainy future-folk into gliding orbit, to smart but unassumingly lush effect’
4/5 The Independent
‘It’s brilliant… rewards repeated listens’ Clash
‘Gorgeous, building on the expansive sound of Neon Golden’ Metro