Noyce Tm: Un:welt (album review)

August 13, 2010 in Album Reviews

Noyce Tm (Germany), founded in 1997 by ex-members of Silence Gift, released in March 2009 their 3rd full-length album, “Un:welt”, through In-D Records. The trio, consisting  of Florian Schäfer (vocals, lyrics, songstructures), Oliver Goëtz (synthwork, programming, songstructures) and Markus Poschmann (synthwork, singing saw, bass), has supported VNV Nation and Diary of Dreams on their tours, on and off between 1999 and 2007. If you are not familiar to Noyce TM’s sound yet, bands such as Diorama, Seabound, Covenant, Clan of Xymox or Depeche Mode should give you a teasing idea about them.

Un:welt” begins with Freiheit” (Freedom), which is a passage from “Goetz von Berlichingen”, a successful 18th century drama by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. This is an atmospheric track that includes spoken lines, chorus and drum beats, and together with its lines, highlighted by the title, induces to you the feeling of living freely, never surrendering to an unkind world and to its influential leaders: “Und wenn unser Blut anfängt auf die Neige zu gehen, wie der Wein in dieser Flasche, was soll unser letztes Wort sein? Es lebe die Freiheit! Und wann die uns überlebt, da können wir ruhig sterben…“ (“And if our blood starts to decline, as the wine in this bottle, which should be our last word? Long live freedom! And when we survive, then we can die in peace…”).

Although This World has an optimistic vibe accompanied by catchy synths, club-friendly beats and Florian Schäfer’s warm voice, it speaks about how our “amazing” world turned into a “symphony to the decline”, where people act like heedless sheep: “[…] Following is much easier without questioning anything. Don’t think about it. Don’t talk about it. Just care for your own absurd needs”. Almost like an anthem, this song is a wake-up call, asking you to take action and change things since there is still hope: “Why did we lose our belief in change? Is this an ideal world in which we can drift along?

Coming next, Tagwerk” (A Day’s Work) is a melancholic song, blended with sequence and cold-romantic synths, with a tinge of Covenant-like vibration. The lyrics carry abounding sensitivity and make you reflect on the superficial feelings and the petty goals people have nowadays: “Gestern war alles so viel schöner. Gefühle waren intensiv und so viel wärmer als sie es heute sind […] Hoffnung. Die Ziele werden kleiner, nur fokussiert auf Kleinigkeiten, die zu streiten der Lohn der Mühe sind“ (“Yesterday everything was so much nicer. Feelings were intense and so much warmer than they are today […] Hope. The targets become smaller, focused only on small things, to argue about the reward of our effort“).

Inschallah (God’s Will) strikes as a very interesting composition: an amazing mixture between oriental tune and chorus plus synth beats. It’s something extremely original, and it sounds incredibly good! Through this tune Noyce TM reveal a mournful world, where parents sacrifice their children in the name of God.

Further, Un:welt (Anti-World) rounds up mystic and mechanical sounds, robotic, clear and cold vox, along with blue piano parts. You are exposed to a future world that is getting nearer each day through all the technology, virtual memories, less feelings and personal opinions, where privacy is a long forgotten word: “Welcome to Un:welt, playing God with Google Earth […] You cannot feel the suffering from your life, you cannot rate what is wrong and what is true. You’re only sure that uncle Sam loves you […] Welcome to Un:welt, the ego’s filled with narrow mind”.

Half Life is all about drugs and the way they empty your life and leave you longing for the emotion of love: “Will I feel the love again before my mind will go insane in this half life […] and if I try to focus on just one thought while my head turns around like a merry-go-round and I can’t control my head walls cause I’m drugged up to the eyeballs”. Although the composition has an overall dynamic tone, it ends with a gloomy harmonious violin and cello duet.

Our World, published 3 years ago, indicated the album’s political direction: “Our world strangled by religion and ruled by lies of politicians, restrained by war and built by exploitation of the poor/Our world oppressed with terrorism and religion”. This is the most forceful piece on “Un:welt”, having a very catchy and danceable beat that makes you want to move your body.

The next track, “Karolinko”, is dedicated to a little girl, who was tortured to death (beaten, strangled and burned) by her mother’s boyfriend, leaving this world at the age of only 3. This ballad is a statement against child abuse, unfortunately still a common thing in the 21st century, and highlights irresponsible and selfish parental behavior.

The Holy Crusade” has a mystic chorus, now blended with church bells sound effects and electro notes. As the title goes, you are told the story of holy wars, known as crusades, when people pay the maximum price – their own lives – in the name of divinity: “Tragic fortune for all victims always paying with their lives/ Their death selected by the leaders in the name of holy words”.

Coming up immediately, “A Long Way Gone” keeps you on the war field, this time in the shoes of a childsoldier who is witness to a close friend’s passing away. According to Florian, he read the book “A Long Way Gone”, and was so deeply impressed that he wrote this song. Such  painful memories are always alive in your mind and you keep rewinding that moment for eternity laments the song: “A yell for his mom I hear from my dying friend/The most painful voice that I have ever heard […] Cries won’t fade out of my head, not even when I lie awake in my bed/ I try hard to forget, but the war never ends”.

Un:jahre” (Against Years) is a Silence Gift remake, which sets off with a piano minor arpeggio (kept throughout the entire song), bringing a more melancholic tone to the composition. The crescendo in Florian Schäfer’s voice, along with the 4/4 beat, set the continuously growing cadence.

The Last Effort” is an impulse to revolt against the “old lies” of the politicians. It also announces the denouement of the material, taking you back to “This World”, embraced once more by an optimistic aroma. And now you can start listening to the CD over again!

While this album has more melancholic pieces than dance floor-oriented tracks, it is not to be missed by anyone who appreciates well composed synthpop.

To sum up, “Un:welt” is a political album that awakes your patriotic and righteous spirit, standing for human rights. If you are in search for music that actually has a message, you should definitely get NOYCE TM’s “Un:welt”!

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