Album Review: The Notwist ‘Messier Objects’

artikel_audio_197_1_grossThe Notwist Messier Objects
(Alien Transistor – January 30, 2015)
(Electronic, Minimal)

Body and mind has formulated a natural response to boredom, which supports the basis that humans are naturally novelty seeking and when there is no novelty to seek we create our own adventure with perpetual daydreaming. My thoughts provide almost all of the entertainment I need in general and in absence of immediate stimulation. Filling the silence that happens from time to time leads some people to fill that void with material possessions instead of grasping the daily opportunities of betterment. When you release the mind of satisfaction in material things you find yourself on the doorstep of minimalism. Minimalism is more than a concept, it is, as the idiom goes,  ‘means-to-an-end’ for the restless. In music, cultivating a paired back approach and one’s own projection of minimal tendencies is as diverse as it’s cultivators. There is a critical undertone, alive and present, bolting glares at barebones production and purist sentiment. This arbitrary scrutiny is due in part to an absurd and unwritten standard that is being applied  to any and everyone taking on the challenge of creating more with less – just having lips, fingers, feet, and a desire to create is not enough. The Notwist undertake a customization of minimal concept on Messier Objects and even with the use of digital and modular electronics they are remarkably able to adhere to some self-imposed goal to develop color, feeling, and (most importantly) space, an often forgot about dynamic in music.


Embracing emptiness and space is more than fitting as Messier Objects shares it’s name with a cosmic list created by Charles Messier. The list details astronomical objects that resemble comets but where not comets as observed by Messier. With approximately 110 objects comprising the list it’s apparent that each track was not a product of inspiration for each of Messier’s object but more of the concept being put in place and the songs assigned an object. The Notwist are prolific and Messier Objects is a testament to that as it is comprised unreleased instrumentals intended for multiple uses (theatre plays, radio plays, movies created by The Notwist) instead of a more defined concept album but you can’t fault it for that. The use of syncopated rhythms, eerie synth pulses, and texture drive the album as heard in ‘Object 2’, ‘Object 5’, and ‘Object 9’. The albums most impressive moment is on ‘Das Spiel ist aus’ it’s repetition laid on top of a Casio-like bossa nova sequence give the feeling of Tangerine Dream. Although the album is made up of bits and pieces of other projects it is cohesive and pure. Focus on the areas not so defined and feel yourself doze off.


‘Object 9’
‘Object 10’
‘Object 12’
‘Das Spiel ist aus’



-Rob Leonard


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