...retains enough twists and turns to make a worthwhile addition to your collection.
Olli Siebelt 2002
Getting their start over ten years ago in Wilheim, Germany, The Notwist have always been a band that play by their own rules. While the others were jumping on bandwagon after bandwagon, from shoegazer to acid jazz, nu-metal to techno, The Notwist never bothered with any of that. For better or for worse, they discovered their unique sound early on and have stuck with it.
Whereas the band previously seemed to be stuck in a sort of Teutonic version of a Tortoise type groove, their individual experiences with side projects such as Tied & Tickled Trio, Console, Village of Savoonga, etc. have strengthened their vision. Neon Golden sees the band flirt with dubby electronica, sparse banjos and even de-constructed classical music in an excellent marriage between minimalist rock and soulful electronics. It seems to be a much more emotionally led release than some of their previous work and thats a pretty impressive achievement considering that this album took 15 months to release.
But, while the Notwist are often known for their minimalist and sometimes monotonal work, some surprisingly pretty pop songs emerge, like the upbeat Pilot or the beautifully melancholic Consequence. You know this place&..Youve been here before sings Markus Acher on Pick Up The Phone, summing up this CD perfectly. You have, but dont take that as a bad thing. Take it like you're returning to your favourite restaurant or bar. You know the crowd. You know the music. You dont even have to think about having a good time. It just happens.
While this album is altogether nothing groundbreakingly new for the band, it still retains enough twists and turns to make a worthwhile addition to your collection. With any luck, the band will forge ahead in their side-projects and bring those experiences back to The Notwist just as they did with this album.
Good stuff all around and in addition to this, we suggest checking out their other excellent side-projects as well, especially Tied and Tickled Trios EA1 EA2 on Drag City. Its all good.