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last updated on
november, 26th
 
 
The NOTWIST:
Shrink
Rating: 7.6 
Live Wire

You've just gotten off the plane. For some inexplicable reason, you're in Berlin, on your way to the Feiertag Gashof (that's Holiday Inn, for you non- German types). Edgy from the flight, you drop your bags in the room, change into your slickest sportcoat, polish up the wing tips, and swing on down to the lounge. 
The lounge is dark and smoky. Very smoky. You grab a table near the back, underneath a grimy house light. A greasy- faced man in a bright sport jacket approaches the front of the stage from behind the curtain. The only word you can make out is "Notwist." 
The band begins. Initially, their music sounds like free- form noise with a cool jazz feel. The minimalist sound relaxes you. You call for the waiter ("Oh, oberkellner!") and request a martini. The Notwist sounds like Tortoise, maybe. Or the Sea And Cake. Der postenrocken. The music is slowly pulling you in. 
Suddenly, guitars blast in, burying that cool jazz feel under a wave of mutilation. The Notwist sounds like Sonic Youth, maybe. Or Husker Du. Mmm, der noisenrocken. The sounds and samples melt into your subconscious. The guitar riffs are repetitive, but cool and dreamy. You tap your feet and strum the rim of your glass. The hipness becomes you. 
The music changes gears again-- strange horns and trumpets blare out and fade back into a sampled beat. A pale woman with Teutonic features approaches and whispers something in your ear. It sounds like part of the song. The music is minimal, and rarely changes in beat, but it takes you to new heights. It makes you feel charmed and elated. Or maybe it's the martini. Could even be the German girl. Or maybe, as you suspect, it's just the Notwist. 
And in an instant, it's over. The noise has subsided. You're pulling your car into its designated parking place. Where did the last forty minutes go? Why are there cigarettes smouldering in my ashtray? How did I get back to Chicago? Where's that German girl? You hit the repeat button...


Duane Ambroz