The Notwist The Notwist / Nook / 12 / Shrink

Put the knife away, ‘cause scooping up the Notwist’s early albums won’t cost you your genitalia anymore. You knew someone would do it (not cut off their nuts, but distribute the group’s back catalogue) after last year’s Neon Golden amazed listeners with its densely refined packets of electro-pop. In fact, it’s almost fitting to experience the German quartet’s sublimation retrospectively since few acts have progressed with such drastically gorgeous results. From the unfathomable metal inklings of their self-titled debut and follow-up Nook (yup, that’s the same band), to the near-indie, transitional 12 where Martin Gretschmann (aka Console) makes his first knob-twiddling appearance, the band make prodigious stylistic leaps in just half a decade of existence. After a three-year hiatus and with Gretschmann firmly in tow, 1998's Shrink brings the tech-friendly Notwist of today more clearly into focus. Shrink’s electric susurrations, multi-instrumentation and pop sensibility fall just inches short of Neon Golden’s visionary precision, still making it an apposite accompaniment and a must-have for new fans of the band. (Triage)