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ARTIST
TITLE
Vertigo Days
FORMAT
2LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
MORR 180LP MORR 180LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
2/5/2021

Double LP version. Three-sided vinyl; includes printed inners and download code. On Vertigo Days, the first album in seven years for The Notwist, one of Germany's most iconic independent groups are alive to the possibilities of the moment. Their music has long been open-minded and exploratory, but from its engrossing structure, through its combination of melancholy pop, clangorous electronics, hypnotic krautrock, and driftwork ballads, to its international musical guests, Vertigo Days is both a new step for The Notwist. It's been seven years since The Notwist's last album, Close To The Glass (2014), and in that time the various members of the group have been busy with side projects (Spirit Fest, Hochzeitskapelle, Alien Ensemble, Joasihno), guest appearances, a record label (Alien Transistor), movie scoring, helping organize the Minna Miteru compilation of Japanese indie pop (MORR 168CD/LP), and running a festival (Alien Disko). Those divergent paths feed back into Vertigo Days in surprising ways, from its structure, built from group improvisations, with songs flowing and melting into one another in a collective haze, to its spirit, which feels refreshed and alive. There's something cinematic about Vertigo Days too, reflective of the group's time working on soundtracks. The album's lead single, "Ship", sees the group joined by Saya of Japanese pop duo Tenniscoats, her disarmingly hymnal voice sighing over a propulsive, krautrocking beat. American multi-instrumentalist Ben LaMar Gay sings on "Oh Sweet Fire", also contributing "a love lyric for these times". American jazz clarinetist and composer Angel Bat Dawid adds clarinet to the spaced-out dream-pop of "Into The Ice Age", while Argentinian electronica songwriter Juana Molina gifts some gorgeous singing and electronics to "Al Sur". Saya also reappears as a member of Japanese brass band Zayaendo, who guest on the album. Throughout, The Notwist also capture the openness of their live performances, too, where they mix and link their songs in unexpected ways. Vertigo Days sits together as one long, flowing suite, the album conceptualized as a whole entity. This is also captured by the album's lyrics, which Markus states, "feel more like one long poem." The dimensions of that poem are multi-faceted, something intensified by the geopolitical weirdness of its times. But it also works at a level of poetic abstraction, such that each song gestures in multiple directions -- the deeply private pans out to the global. Vertigo Days is an album that is brimming with life, with enthusiasm and love for music and for community, all wide-eyed and dreaming.