First review is in for the new album by Kontakte.
We all know that labelling music hinders as much as it helps: although the practice of pigeon-holing orientates it also gives opportunity to dismiss mostly due to the perpetually shifting status of ‘fashionable’ genres. If you disagree, simply visit your local hipster bar (metropolitan areas only), pronounce that you are “really digging chillwave”, and observe as the beards and boat-shoes turn to mock your anachronistic credentials (a number of options are then open to you, but we cannot be seen to condone violence here).
One tag that would no doubt have the humourless beards cruelly smirking into their mojitos is post-rock (I recently witnessed a tweeter stating that self-identifying as post-rock is the equivalent of admitting to Nazi tendencies). And despite the fact that none of press blurb that comes with Kontakte’s We Move Through Negative Spaces mentions this apparently contemptible tag, the chances are the stupid will ignore what is a lovingly composed and emotionally complex set of soundtracks as soon as said label is mentioned.
We Move Through Negative Spaces is an album that begs a vista to stare out on as you listen, one preferably shimmering in frost and piercing light. Yet even the most drab, grinding and visually confined of days can be transformed by the guitars (both delicately picked and fortified as a gleaming wall of fuzz), the rhythms (electronically glitched and sharpened to IDM shapes) and the peaks and troughs of cinematic mood. Occasionally you get a sense that there is nothing desperately new here and that it illustrates a genre that has given all it can, but if you can jettison such ridiculous hang-ups you realise again that beautiful music like this is something to value in and of itself irrespective of what others tell you is trending.