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His Goldener Reiter has become embedded in our collective memory, in 1998 he landed one of the most unusual hits in German music history with Die Flut, and then he surprised everyone in 2012 with “Gloria”, one of the most poignant songs ever about love and loss: When someone like Joachim Witt prepares to release an album full of electro anthems in the year 2014, there’s one thing we shouldn’t expect, and that’s compromises.

“Nein, ich verlier` meine Träume nicht (no, I’m not losing my dreams),” Witt sings in the key song Aufstehen. These are the dreams of eternal renewal, of fighting against the demon of stagnation, which drive Joachim Witt which have moved him to name his album Neumond – or New Moon – after that cosmic phenomenon that takes place time and time again, but never loses its fascination. Together with Martin Engler – otherwise frontman of Mono Inc. – Witt has lit up a good three quarters of an hour of this dark lunar phase. Now it’s blazing brightly.

Barely two years after Dom, a sublime masterpiece of contemplation, the Herbergsvater of German New Wave is going full electronic throttle. The sequencers are pushed to the limit, the bass drum forces you to move, rich power chords light up the chorus. The bold lyrics, “Weil wir eisern sind (because we’re unshakable)”, are no empty words from someone like Witt, whose album triptych Bayreuth liberated Wagner from the far-right niche. Witt is as highly charged as ever – and shares this boundless energy with us on Neumond.

How many times has Witt achieved a radical transformation? Redefined himself and conquered unknown terrain? Neumond is his 14th studio album, and that’s exactly how many times Witt has broken down barriers over the course of his career – whether it be music, content or genre: his debut Silberblick was art-obsessed guitar pop, its successor Edelweiß brought us saturnine electro, whilst this was followed by the polished high-gloss pop of Märchenblau. And that’s just the first three records … Over the years Witt has given us crystal-clear synth pop, the odd bit of brutalist industrial funk, even venturing into Europop wasn’t out of the question. Witt’s music began to take on a harder edge year by year, to the point of remorselessness by the third part of his Bayreuth series. Yet there is one thing all of his works have in common: they’ve always been absolutely without compromise in terms of what they represented. And now the same is true of Neumond.

Joachim Witt has never made any secret of the fact that many of his songs contain autobiographical elements. This time it’s the title track that relates to the singer’s life. “Wer fügt sich schwer dem Herdentrieb? (who finds it hard to follow the herd?)” Witt asks against ambient soundscapes, only to finish by hinting that he’s referring to himself, a “shy and tormented soul”. Yet this shy artist has managed to fulfill a musical dream on Neumond: a duet with Lisa Gerrard, the female half of the duo Dead Can Dance, to be found on the bonus CD of the album.

In case you’re wondering why this gem isn’t on the actual album, the reason is simple: it wouldn’t have fitted into the overall picture of the record, it would have been a compromise. And that’s something Joachim Witt just doesn’t do.