TRACK: The Notwist feat. Juana Molina – ‘Al Sur’: returning with exploratory pop chops intact

The Notwist

SEVEN years is too long, to paraphrase the northern soul classic; yep. that’s how long it’s been since we’ve heard from Bavaria’s always delightfully off-kilter The Notwist.

Since they dropped their last album for It’s been seven years since The Notwist’s last studio album, Close To The Glass, for City Slang in 2014, the always collaborative spirit of Markus and Micha Acher and Andi Haberl have been busy with side projects, guest appearances; the Acher with their record label, releasing new material by Japan’s lovely Tenniscoats and rapper Odd Nosdam, among others; scoring movies, more.

But it was the right time, and a band always seeking new ways of expression has reconvened for Vertigo Days, on Berlin’s Morr Music.

November saw a first taster in “Where You Find Me” which we said had “rather gorgeous synth lines taking on various guises through the song, while being almost hypnotising in its motorik undercurrent”.

Always, always looking to mesh with other talents, they’ve now released “Al Sur”, with cult Argentinian songstress Juana Molina, who herself released a clutch of waywardly intelligent albums for Domino through the Noughties; check it out.

Electronic drums bring propulsion, clangour and hip-swagger, Juana’s velvety breathiness taking the tune for a spin out in Hispanophone grace. (Her albums are also excellent, by the way). Check that middle break, an action painting of cymbal splatter, a cheeky electronic riff hovering into dissonance.

Markus Acher says: “We wanted to question the concept of a band by adding other voices and ideas, other languages, and also question or blur the idea of national identity.”

The Notwist’s Vertigo Days will be released digitally, on CD and 2xLP by Morr Music on January 29th; you can place your pre-order now over at The Notwist’s Bandcamp or with Norman Records, among others.

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