Kontakte - We Move Through Negative Spaces (Drifting Falling)

Kontakte's instrumentals slightly miss their mark.

Released Apr 18th, 2011 via Drifting Falling / By Ben Wood
Kontakte - We Move Through Negative Spaces (Drifting Falling) Kontakte is a great name for a band whose debut album was called Soundtracks to Lost Road Movies. It has echoes of the krautrock greats, and sci-fi epics like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Solaris. However, that’s where the praise must end.

We Move Through Negative Spaces is competently put-together, overproduced and utterly generic soundtrack fodder. All its pretty-well interchangeable tracks would fit unnoticed into the background as the chiselled hero of a straight-to-DVD thriller walked the city streets at night, wondering why life has to be so complicated and yet so beautiful, man…

These tunes, with hackneyed titles like 'A Snowflake in Her Hand', are supposed to be emotionally affecting, but left me utterly unmoved. It sounds like it was created by a computer program, to a formula, without the intervention of human hand or heart.

Each track seems to follow the same formula: quiet ambient intro, then chiming guitar patterns, followed by just enough static and breakbeats to hint at modernity, and maybe a touch of piano. All items then circle pointlessly, never doing anything remotely interesting, and outstay their welcome by several minutes.

This critic can see the point of Tortoise, with their fondness for jazziness and subtlety, but most of the epic side of post-rock seems to involve bleedin’ obvious quiet-loud-quiet-loud dynamics that go nowhere, while denying listeners the joys of melody, songcraft or interesting arrangements.

If you want something subtle and atmospheric, there are loads of great ambient acts out there. If you want something epic, emotional and moving, there are centuries-worth of great classical composers to explore. Don’t waste your time on this insipid muzak.