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The Notwist — Close to the Glass (2014)

 The Notwist — Close to the Glass (2014)

GER Flag        The Notwist — Close to the Glass
  German band that gradually moved from post-hardcore to alternative to indie pop to scruffy electronic music.
Formed: 1989 in Weilheim in Oberbayern, Germany
Location: Weilheim in Oberbayern
Album release: February 12*, 2014
Record Label: Sub Pop/City Slang/Spunk/Afterhours
Duration:     47:33
Tracks:
01 Signals     3:41
02 Close to the Glass     2:58
03 Kong     4:31
04 Into Another Tune     3:57
05 Casino     3:15
06 From One Wrong Place to Another     2:45
07 7 Hour Drive     3:57
08 The Fifth Quarter of the Globe     0:49
09 Run Run Run     5:05
10 Steppin’ In     2:02
11 Lineri     8:52
12 They Follow Me     5:41
Current members:
  Markus Acher — guitar, vocals (1989–present)
  Michael Acher — bass (1989–present)
  Martin Gretschmann (aka Console) — programming (1997–present)
  Andi Haberl — drums (2007–present)
Former members:
  Martin Messerschmidt — drums (1989–2007)
Notes:
¬   At Alternative Press, Reed Fischer rated the album three-and-a-half out of five stars, stating that “Close To The Glass resembles ice-skate carvings on a frozen lake: jagged, cold but filled with fractured ambient beauty.”                                     © The Notwist  At the Paradiso in Amsterdam
REVIEW
By Sam Hockley-Smith; November 21, 2013
German electronic band the Notwist's 2002 LP Neon Golden (Score: 9.2/http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/5845-neon-golden/)  is a fragile album, built on Markus Acher's lovelorn vocals and beds of rickety electronics that tangled and disintegrated as they were being played. It was very pretty, but also very of its time; in 2002, making melancholy, glitchy albums wasn't yet played out, but by the time the Postal Service  a group that shared emotional, if not exactly musical similarities with the Notwist — released Give Up the following year, the sound was getting tired (which would probably explain why the Notwist's 2008 album The Devil, You + Me went largely unnoticed.)
¬   There isn't really much of a trace of Neon Golden-era Notwist on "Close To The Glass", which, by Notwist standards, is positively aggro. Over brisk claps, a digital approximation of a hand drum and warped strings, Acher's voice is still barely more than a whisper, which could be read as timid, but when paired with the tense, often beautiful instrumental actually comes off as ominous.  The Notwist's Close To The Glass is out* February 25 in the U.S. via Sub Pop, February 24 in Europe via City Slang, February 12 in Japan via Afterhours, and February 21 in Australia via Spunk.
¬   During the recording of Close to the Glass, Martin Gretchmann was more the mad-scientist than ever before, standing behind a small mountain of analog modular synths, not only playing but also manipulating the performance of his bandmates as they played. The strong connection and creative trust between band members allowed for the traditional lines between roles to blur more than ever before. With everyone playing anything, the band felt they could take their music anywhere, from sheer noise to kraut-rock beat pocket to arena rock ride out. Close to the Glass is also full of vocal leaps for Markus Acher, experimenting not only with effects but also with his range, leaving the comforts of his signature style to take this album somewhere new.
¬   “Run Run Run” is an electronic renovation of a simple blues song, every member of the band manipulating each other’s performance. This was the first song created for the album with its blend of classic approach and cutting edge execution, and it would set the tone for the rest of the recording process.
¬   “Casino” is a perfect display of the self-sampling freedom that went into the recording of Close to the Glass. What began as an instrumental by Micha or Andy, was resampled by Martin, then sung on by Markus and played live on tour. But when they went to record it for the album, it felt off until they played it as a band in the sparer final form it has today.
¬   “Kong” driven by its beat and anthemic guitar chords is The Notwist’s homage to ’90s indie-pop. The lyrics are a true story about a young Markus and his family trapped in their home by a flood, dreaming as hard as he could about being saved by superheroes as the water rose around them.
¬   Now in 2014, we find the most excited/exciting evocation of The Notwist releasing their most adventurous record yet. Proud as always to be on their long-time European label CITY SLANG, they are now over the moon to be on SUB POP in the Americas, a label that is home to dozens of their favorite bands and LPs. Here’s to one and all enjoying Close to the Glass, a record that feels as good in expensive headphones as it does in the trunk, a seamless soundtrack for that movie always going on inside you.
Artist Biography by John Bush
¬   Formed near Munich as a post-hardcore band, the Notwist gradually began to embrace a fusion of classic '80s indie pop songwriting and scruffy electronic backings indebted to Oval and Autechre. The quartet is comprised of brothers Markus and Micha Acher (on vocals/guitar and bass, respectively) plus programmer/keyboard player Martin Gretschmann and drummer Martin Messerschmid. Their self-titled 1989 debut and 1992's Nook were rough-and-tumble punk LPs. Third album 12 marked the group's first flirtation with electronics, though the chord structures and vocals of Markus Acher marked the Notwist more as an alternative band. The band then gained an American distribution deal with Zero Hour, and after 12 was reissued, fourth album Shrink — almost entirely abstract electronic in nature — appeared in 1998. Neon Golden (2002) and The Devil, You + Me (2008) were both song-oriented in nature, albeit with electronics continuing to play a significant role in the band's material. [See also: Potawatomi, Console, Lali Puna, Ms. John Soda, 13 & God, Tied + Tickled Trio.]
Website: http://notwist.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thenotwistnow
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thenotwist
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thenotwist
TOUR DATES:
24.02. D-Wiesbaden — Schlachthof
25.02. D-Bielefeld — Forum
26.02. D-Berlin — Heimathafen
10.03. D-Stuttgart — Wagenhallen
11.03. F-Lyon — Epicerie Moderne
12.03. F-Nantes — Stereolux
13.03. P-Paris — La Maroquinerie
14.03. F-Lille — Le Grand Mix
15.03. UK-Manchester — The Deaf Institute
16.03. UK-Glasgow — Mono
17.03. UK-Bristol — The Fleece
18.03. UK London — Village Underground
19.03. B-Brussels — Botanique
20.03. D-Köln — E-Werk
05.04. IT-Milano — Magnolia
06.04. IT-Foligno — Serendipity
07.04. IT-Roma — Parco della Musica
08.04. IT-Bologna — Estratgon
09.04. IT-Padova — Mame
10.04. SL-Ljubljana — Channel Zero
11.04. HR-Zagreb — Mochvara
12.04. A-Linz — Posthof
13.04. D-München — Circus Krone
26.05. D-Berlin — C-Club
27.05. D-Hamburg — Laeiszhalle
28.05. NL-Amsterdam — Melkweg
28.06. CH-St. Gallen — Open Air
19.07. D-Gräfenhainichen — Melt!
_______________________________________________________________
Albums:
The Notwist (1991)
Nook (1992)
Your Choice Live Series Vol.20 (1994)
12 (1995)
Shrink (1998)
Neon Golden (2002)
The Devil, You + Me (2008)
Storm (soundtrack, 2009)
Close to the Glass (2014)
Singles and EPs:
"Johnny and Mary" EP (1994)
"Only in America" EP (1996)
"Untitled (Selections From 12)" EP (1997)
"Day 7" single (1997)
"Chemicals" single (1998)
"Trashing Days" single (2001)
"Pilot" single (2001)
"Pick Up the Phone" single (2002)
"One With the Freaks" single (2002)
"Untitled (Scoop)" EP (2002)
"Lichter" EP (2003) (Soundtrack for the film Distant Lights (Lichter))
"Different Cars and Trains" EP (2003)
"Solo Swim" EP (2004)
"Where in this World" single (2008)
"Boneless" single (2008)
"Come In" single (2009)
"Blank Air" single (2010)
_______________________________________________________________

The Notwist — Close to the Glass (2014)

 

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