The new Kontakte album “We Move Through Negative Spaces” was reviewed by Future Sequence
Intensity and emotion are two really difficult elements to marry effectively in music. Too often, you hear records that fall too far on either side of the line; too focused on what’s pushed out sonically, or on cheap chord sequences – cliched tugs at heartstrings. The bottom line is, at the core of everything you listen to, you need heart. Give someone heart, and whatever kind of music you make, make sure it’s there for the listener to hear loud and clear.
For me, I want to hear it in the loudest moments – even in cacophony – and I need to hear it in the quietest, sparsest moments. If I can get that, I’m going to connect with it, I’m going to come back to it, I’m going to pick out different elements every time I listen, and I’m going to get that little bit more out of it every time. The simple fact is this: Take everything else away, and if all that’s left in your music is heart, you’re going to make some people really happy.
The difficulty is tapping into that and making sure it’s both heard and felt. Maybe you’ll nail it through happy accident, maybe it’s in your production, maybe it’s in your playing, or maybe it’s a combination of all of these. It’s so easy to start off with something that has it, and then produce and master it to hell and back and wipe away all the things that gave it heart in the first place. My music collection is full of these records, records that have been ruined by any number of factors and that only give glimpses of that part of music that’s needed most. These records ultimately leave you with a sense of both you and the artist being short-changed – a missed opportunity, permanent testament to the failure to convey one of the most fundamental elements in music that a listener will ever need.
‘We Move Through Negative Spaces’, is definitely not one of those records. It’s got heart stamped all over it – it’s in the guitar playing, it’s in the strings, it’s in the electronics – it’s everywhere. It’s a wonderful combination of electronica and post rock, and in it’s moments it’s a beautiful example of the marrying of intensity and space. It doesn’t try and and pull your heart out for you. Instead, it works it’s way slowly under your skin, until you’re giving it up piece by piece on each listen. On first listen, I found the electronica and post rock combination hard to reconcile. Yet it’s played beautifully, the production gives it a chance to breathe, and now I couldn’t imagine, and wouldn’t want it any other way.
There are obvious influences, but when music has this much heart, I’m not sure it really matters. This is an album I am loving listening to, and I imagine myself listening to a lot in the months to come. I’m not sure there are too many higher recommendations.
We Move Through Negative Spaces is released 11th April on US label Drifting Falling