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Kontakte

We Move Through Negative Spaces

(Drifting Falling; US: 15 Mar 2011; UK: 14 Mar 2011)

On their sophomore album, London’s Kontakte strikes a perculiar but effective balance in textures. We Move Through Negative Spaces is as much informed by ambient music and electronica as it is by towering post-rock acts like Sigur Ros. Guitars ring out and build quiet layers, only to crash in distorted storms of sound later, while under it all programmed beats shuffle and blip. When the mix hits true, it achieves a deep rumble—“With Glowing Hearts” and closer “The Ocean Between You and Me” are slow-burn standouts—and it shows a compellingly seamless mesh between the organic and the technological. In a few spots, like the muscled churn of “Hope…”, the mix seems to miss the crashing live drums that the guitars call for, and in those cases there’s something slightly off kilter about the results. All in all, though, this is a unique slice of evocative, cinematic music. If these guys do in fact move through negative spaces, damned if they don’t fill them up quickly with this haunting sound.

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Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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