Recording information: Alien-Research-Center.
During the years between 2008's The Devil, You + Me and 2014's Close to the Glass, the members of the Notwist kept themselves busy with solo projects and writing pieces for theater productions and radio plays, some of which are collected in Messier Objects. In the best possible way, the compilation lives up to its name: where Close to the Glass was remarkably polished and focused (and only featured one instrumental, the standout "Lineri"), the band revels in many different approaches and experiments on these tracks. While the percolating post-rock of "Object 9" and "Object 6" deliver more familiar sounds from the band in miniature -- and the 12-minute "Das Spiel Ist Aus" stretches them to epic length -- elsewhere, the Notwist dives into completely unfamiliar territory. The bubbly "Object 7" recalls vintage library music in its atmospheric brevity; "Object 4" reveals a previously unheard fondness for Les Baxter and Esquivel, and "Object 10" incorporates Latin and trip-hop elements into something unlike anything they've ever done before. Messier Objects is a lot of fun for those wanting to explore the Notwist's more experimental side. ~ Heather Phares