My journey into German pop music–part 3

The top 200 albums of the 2000s listed by Pitchfork Media, features only a few German artists. This does not mean that German artists are not good enough to make it on the list, but simply shows that they are mostly overlooked or are not introduced into English-language media. An artist or group must most likely be signed to a good record label to get attention outside of their homeland even to begin with. The Notwist), signed to Domino Records (a big name of independent label), are one of the few German artists that were featured in this article, with their fifth album Neon Golden (2002) placed at 131.

Possibly being one of the most well-known German indie group worldwide, The Notwist play irresistible pop music complemented with electronica undertones. Some may say that their music is reminiscent of Radiohead as The Notwist also have many songs that are quite glooming and melancholic. Nonetheless, I personally think they are likely to come across as more catchy and charming to most audiences. Also, they integrate elements of electronica to a greater extent that some of the more common Top 40 artists. I discovered the Notwist thorough songs from acclaimed Neon Golden and I instantly was captivated by their brilliant melodies, delicate electronic sounds and arrangements. They sing in English like many other international acts (I wonder whether they would have gotten the same amount of attention if they had opted to sing in German?). Sometimes, their English lines sound a little awkward and uncertain but it works perfectly for their charm, adding a certain sense of abstraction.

Starting from Metal
Although they have received the most attention because of their more recent work, The Notwist has over 20 years of history. Tracing back to 1989, the band was formed in Weilheim in Oberbayern, in the southern part of Bavaria. Apparently, they originally started off being a Metal band before they gradually shifted to a more indie and electronic genre. The man behind this drastic change was Martin Gretschmann, who joined the band in 1997. Gretschmann is a well-established figure in the electronic music scene and is the kind of person who absolutely loves music and playing around with different sound in every possible way. His solo electronic project, Console, is full of ideas and creativity. Being always enthusiastic about trying something new and ambitious incorporating the latest techniques, creates his ever evolving sound.


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