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photos by Amanda Hatfield
The Notwist @ Webster Hall 6/9/2014
The first two songs of Close to the Glass have a chilly, industrial sound to them that put listeners in a daze that's suddenly broken by the peppy "Kong". The rest of the album similarly shows abrupt, but very cleverly designed, changes in genre. How did you come up with the album's structure?German glitchpop pioneers The Notwist played their first NYC show in years last night (6/9) at Webster Hall. It was the kickoff show to their short North American tour in support of their very good new album Close to the Glass which finds them still masters of mixing the organic and electronic. They can do it live too, playing as a five-piece with banks of circuits surrounded by more traditional rock gear. Their set -- which included two encores -- features much of the new album plus favorites like "Pilot" and the title track from their 2002 benchmark Neon Golden. Pictures from their set are in this post.
We started to record, and didn't really know, what we wanted. We recorded as a band live in the studio and didn't like the result. Then we started to work electronically, got tired of it, and started to improvise with sounds and samples ... and so we had all these different songs, that didn't really go together--at least we thought that--in the middle of the recordings, we were at the point of throwing everything away and start new again. But then we finished the song "Run, Run, Run", and it showed us a way to see the record ... as a sort of collage ... colourful and with hard cuts and surprises, with different styles mixed together, sometimes maybe even in one song. We thought of records like Cornelius' Fantasma, Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty or Beck's Odelay. Or also hip-hop records like J Dilla's Donuts. That, mixed with '60s records like S.F. Sorrow by The Pretty Things gave us an idea, how to see the record.
And in contrary to The Devil, You + Me, we didn't try to find "one" sound for the whole record, but worked on something like a mosaic of sounds and styles, that in the end put the puzzle together into one big whole. - [Popmatters]
Opening the night was frequent tourmate and collaborator Jel (who've made records together as 13 & God). We remember catching Jel's group Themselves opening for The Notwist at Bowery Ballroom in 2004. Picture's from Jel's set, plus more from the Notwist, below...