Zwerg, Played Wits, Waspy Mic Mac Records (****) [Moncton Times & Transcript, LIFE & TIMES, November 10, 2000]
By Greg Perry

(****) It’s been three years since Moncton’s Zwerg aka Jason Betts released To Myopic Mutts – an often hilarious cutting-edge collection of grumbling puns and rhymes set to dashing parlour piano best described as the product of Frank Mills on acid. Finally Zwerg is back, though this time Betts trades Alice and Wonderland psychedelia for a retro-trip to a nutty outer space discotheque pulsing with more wonderful phrase-turns, spacey synthesizers and programmed beats straight out of the ‘80s. Built with the precision of architecture and brushed with the seductive hues of a master painter’s palette, Played Wits is at heart a cheeky tip of the hat to electronic gurus like Kraftwerk, Yello and Art of Noise and their loopy pop cousins New Order, Psychedelic Furs and Cabaret Voltaire. The big bouncy grooves (From Nome to Nain, Solferino) are playfully inviting and instantly captivating, while the poignant – albeit darkly humorous – musings are at once as sharp as a sabre and as delicate as a music box. Honest but confident artistic evolution hasn’t sounded this fun since the ‘60s.