Press


These Machines:

Arctic Drones interview

Subba Cultcha interview



(Classic Rock/Prog)


"Opening track Shut Your Eyes And You’ll Burst Into Flames begins familiarly enough, adding layers to a deliberate guitar riff, but it eventually boils into a monstrous epic built around a two-note bassline and great plumes of fuzz. It’s a scintillating entrée to a heavier and more corrosive new sound, ...elsewhere on this utterly engrossing album, they conjure moods like the bastard spawn of Autechre and My Bloody Valentine." - Classic Rock/Prog Magazine
"The opening track of These Machines appears to promise the same. But then comes the hit. And another one. Suddenly its title, ‘Shut Your Eyes And You’ll Burst Into Flames’, starts to make sense. ‘Fear of Music’ develops the theme, even going a little math rock in doing so. Things may not add up so coherently with ‘Alpha Beta Gamma Delta’ but hey, it’s a terrific little number and who cares if it’s half Orbital and half Boards of Canada. Kontakte have found higher levels. These Machines deserves to be screamed by the horizon as you crest a hill. And to be carried by the wind to soothe your descent. Take it everywhere with you. Make your life spectacular." - Echoes And Dust

"Immediately appealing and upbeat Post Rock from the instrumental duo. Their driving instrumental music includes odd electronica bits and often builds up to a wall of sonic noise. These compositions, such as the 1970's-ish 'Space Junk', are of immediate appeal and rather carefree. Their upbeat melodies are a soundtrack to sunrise." - Pennyblack

"Immortal Engines starts with mournful Mogwai-ish twinkles with coolly meandering beats ornamented by subtle electronic twitches and squiggles, only for the guitar to drop out and a buzzing electric drone to overtake the drums before it bursts into a passage of pulsating, skittish acid house, before finally throwing the two halves together in an euphoric climax." - Norman Records

"The emphasis is on the ‘machine’ aspect. As a result ‘Alpha Beta Gamma Delta’ is rendered both anaemic and catchy. If there was to be a ‘singularity’ event and computers truly took over, but they decided to keep music, I guess it might sound a little like These Machines. Imagine a visceral fusion of m83 and MBV. Real punchy beats elevate this beyond many electronica peers whilst the airbender, 'tremolo bar' guitar soars. 'Fear Of Music' is so good that it's hard to see past it. Why go on? Why bother? Just hit repeat and kick back. Right?
Wrong. There's more to investigate here, much more. 'All Watched Over...', a reflective guitar piece, pepped up by sad optimistic keys. Somewhere in an alternative universe Badalamenti is collaborating with Mogwai on the score for a mysterious foreign television show." - Sic Magazine

(Rockerilla Magazine, IT)



We Move Through Negative Spaces:


(Classic Rock/Prog)



In terms of sound output, Kontakte lean more towards the calmer end of the postrocktronic spectrum. Their overdrive and distortion pedals are switched on in only a couple of tracks, with the rest of the album formulated by meandering guitar melodies superimposed over steady electronic beats. 
The edge that We Move through Negative Spaces has over other kindred albums is its endless supply of melodies. Almost every melody is memorable, which is in itself a triumph. “Hope” uses a huge wall of distorted background guitars to set the scene for the softer foreground guitars.  The highs last only a few moments, and the lows carry the remainder. The buildups and breakdowns are sewn together so naturally that one can’t help but gasp whenever a change from quiet to loud occurs. In contrast, “The Ocean Between You and Me” climaxes on a notable high, ending the album with all guitars blazing.
The clear standout on the album is “A Snowflake in her Hand”, which is so strong that it can reestablish one's lost love for the genre.“A Snowflake…” is simplicity incarnate. The leading line could remain on repeat forever, and few would mind. The entrances of the strings and repeating glitch beat elevate the track to the realm of the epic. When executed this well, subtlety is a beautiful thing. - The Silent Ballet


Kontakte, a band we first saw via their debut mini – Soundtracks To Lost Movies, have cranked it up a notch with their latest release. We Move Through Negative Spaces sounds much more confident. The self-belief is evident right from the opening swell of ‘Astralagus’, a track Lights Out Asia wouldn’t be unhappy to add to their canon. Kontakte, it seems, have shed their inhibitions.
Kontakte, despite their lack of words, have found a voice.
What really makes this record is the variety and the quality on display.  The band play us out with ‘The Ocean Between You and Me’, an epic that owes something to ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’. Then again, what doesn’t? In any case, who are Mogwai anyway? A bunch of jocks who’ve made a ten year career out - Sic Magazine


“Kontakte”: sounds like a German techno musical, but Kontakte pack a secret weapon in the fact that one of them’s a would-be Brian Eno: along with the usual post-rock components (chiming guitar, loud guitar, pauses, drumming) lies a bank of cutting edge electronics—electronics that could probably go on by themselves to have a successful 36-year solo career. And if the golden rule of experimental music is IDM + post-rock = new heights of preposterousness, Kontakte pack a backup secret weapon in the fact that they hold an actual tune, and play material you can remember without having to cocoon yourself in your bedroom, light candles and wade through a mammoth drone build-up first. - Coke Machine Glow


There’s something about how most songs by Kontakte seem to be made up with “movements”. You’ve synth and electronic drums bits here and there, then heavy feedback and arpeggios complementing each other (like in ‘With Glowing Hearts’). It’s probably their signature sound, but it’s not formulaic, there are real variations here.
We Move Through Negative Spaces is quite an excellent offering by Kontakte. The stakes of mixing instrumental rock with electronica have been raised from their previous album (the also recommendable Soundtracks To Lost Road Movies) and these 8 songs are a prime cut for lovers of instrumental rock. - Sloucher


This reminds me a little (or possibly a great deal, simultaneously) of Maps, early Mogwai, EITS, 65daysofstatic & Epic 45. Their last effort was a motorik Krauty affair but this is all proper "epic guitar cathedral walls", whispering, fluttery electronics & galloping, stomping, clattering drum machines with stately arpegiated guitar lines. There's even some strings and piano in here someplace. There's absolute lashings of heavenly, blissful chord changes & emotive crescendos to be consumed, especially on the monstrous 'Hope'! - Norman Records


London-based Kontakte have brought to the world ‘We Move Through Negative Spaces’  and I for one think the world may be a much better place for them doing so. I must have had my head seriously far up somewhere dark not to have been aware of these lot before, but I am now and am not going to waste any more time in trying to get others on board. 

From the opening record crackling of ‘Astralagus’ you are immediately taken to another world, a magical place that needs no singing or explanation. 

It’s evident that all that time in the studio working on ‘We Move Through Negative Spaces' was time very well spent. It’s the sort of album that has been lovingly and meticulously worked upon rather than being ‘over produced’. This is an incredible album and, believe me, it may just be the best 56 minutes and 42 seconds you spend listening to this year. 
-  
Pennyblack Music
When I first saw London post rock outfit Kontakte, named after the famous composition by pioneering modern composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, they were performing their first album Soundtracks to Lost Road Movies in the atmospheric setting of a renovated medieval church, backed by projections of abstract images. Even then, having only recently formed out of bassist Ian Griffith’s bedroom project, they were astonishingly cinematic, creating complex and textured soundscapes shrouding distant melodies in feedback and static. Seeing them perform live, jamming with electric guitars against a backdrop of glitchy beats, was astonishing, like being carried away by a wave of energy. With their forthcoming album We Move Through Negative Spaces, they’ve honed and polished that sound to such a staggering level that they can truly be considered alongside such atmospheric post rock giants as Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor, whilst also carving their own unique space within the genre.  

The band’s emotional palette has deepened considerably, something aptly demonstrated by the album’s second track, Hope..., which carries an epic atmospheric charge that explodes in its second half into a souring crescendo of sculpted sound, and then dips again to introduce some subtle melodics and whispering voices. Another track, With Glowing Hearts, peels back the static to showcase some truly heartfelt and beautiful guitar work, against a shimmering background drone and crystalline beats. Although the tracks are still shot through with the same energy as before, there’s more variety and subtlety this time around. 

The quality of the production on the album combined with the band’s innovative use of glitchy, layered beats is reminiscent of The Last Resort by Denmark’s techno maestro Trentmoller. However the addition of a back bone of discursive guitars and, in some tracks such as the incredibly evocative Early Evening Bleeds into Night, violin, xylophone and piano, demonstrates the truth behind the band’s assertion that they trace their sound back to classical music traditions as much as electronic. Whilst the production quality is almost on par with Trentmoller, his almost clinical precision is replaced here by a very human quality; an emotional core that is uniquely their own. - Rhythm Circus

"Bowlegs strongly suggest you listen to this record - maybe whilst drifting through your surrounding landscapes. We promise it will improve your day, it did ours." - Bowlegs Music

"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. 
 


'We Move Through Negative Spaces', (has) 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". - Future Sequence


"The undoubted highlight is penultimate track Every Passing Hour, by far the shortest track at just over 3 minutes, it is the antithesis of the rest of the album, musically, featuring only acoustic guitar, violin and piano, and because of that it’s subtle, intimate and nigh on profoundly affecting. The latter description could be extended to encompass the whole of this extraordinary album, never has something so defiantly un-commercial sounded so beautiful, when I say that We Move Through Negative Spaces is interesting, I mean it in the sense that I want to know more about it, I want to listen to it over and over again to find out just how it’s put together, I want to be able to hear all the subtleties that I’ve no doubt missed. I want to know every inch of it. And that is something I can say about very few records." - AAA Music


"Kontakte follow-up their debut Soundtrack For Lost Road Movies with 'We Move Through Negative Spaces' their most accomplished work to date. No evidence of any difficult second album syndrome here. Indeed evidence points to the contrary with an EP release prior to the album of which no tracks appear on the album. Instead the band have chosen to continue progressing, honing their sound and as a result have made several significant steps forward.
This album is perfect soundtrack music. Album highlight Astralagus opens up proceedings, setting the scene and from hereon in you find yourself lost on a cinematic journey. Kontakte have employed the liberal use of strings throughout the album and this at times recalls Lazer Guided Melodies era Spiritualized without ever infringing on their own sound. Elsewhere epic sounds a la God Is An Astronaut are employed making this a very intense yet ultimately beautiful listen. 

Kontakte have found themselves making many inroads lately, winning over new followers as they travel and this album can only seek to propel them forward. On the evidence of this, 2011 could very well be their year." - Contact Music


When Kontakte visited London's Metropolis Studios to have its newly completed We Move Through Negative Spaces mastered, they heard the album played back through speakers standing eight feet tall. One can only begin to imagine how incredible the material must have sounded under such conditions, but the album sounds no less awesome when played on one's living room stereo or even iPod... the album leaves a strong and lasting impression for being so clearly a marvel of construction, with programmed beats anchoring electric guitars, strings, and piano in eight meticulously arrangedpieces.
Though the dramatic opener “Astralagus” sets the album's panoramic tone when a sparkling array of chiming guitar patterns segues into an epic storm of guitars, strings, and drums, the song's attack plays like some trial run for the album's stunner, “Hope…,” which unleashes a level of six-string ferocity that's as beautiful as it is crushing. The ten-minute closer “The Ocean Between You and Me” undertakes a slow ascent to what one expects will be an incendiary climax, but there's also no denying how amazing the moment is when it finally arrives in all its full-blown splendour. Long may the band ride its transcendant wave. - Textura

Consisting of electro-beat led instrumental mood-pieces that are texturally guitar-heavy, they tick most of the usual post-rock boxes (although judging by their interviews, they would probably resent such generic pigeon-holing) from Godspeed You Black Emperor and Mogwai, to contemporaries like This Will Destroy You. The ambient soundscapes also point to Brian Eno’s work with Robert Fripp, with squalls of guitar sound coming courtesy of 90’s shoegazers Slowdive. Most of the tracks hover around the seven minute mark aside from the album’s focal point, “The Ocean between You and Me”, a ten minute dreamy snow-blizzard of a song that leaves you with a fuzzy feeling inside. Other highlights are the forelorn sounding “Hope…”, the piano led “Early Evening Bleeds Into Night”, and the glacial “Every Passing Hour”.
A fine album for a Sunday afternoon’s looking out the window at the rain. - Tasty Fanzine


"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." Both Bars On

(Music Week Magazine)



Superbug EP:

                                              (Mojo Magazine)

"Kontakte make their second appearance on this compilation. They literally hit you in the face with 'Superbug' and its grating noises. In places, it sounds like they are clanging steel with massive lump hammers. It all works, though and Kontakte prove that it doesn't matter what the noise is, it's what you do with that noise is what actually counts. This is just a perfect haunting track but don't listen to it before you go to bed if you have a nervous disposition." - ContactMusic (Taken from Revolution In Sound II review, Dec 2012)

"London bliss-rockers Kontakte continue their journey into the outer reaches of motorik rhythms and chimingly elevated guitar work with an EP which works around the theme in differing ways. “Superbug” itself boils over with tightly-wound energy, surging from twinkly psychedelic guitar melodies which dive off into shoegaze metal territory on a bedrock of cascading, weighty beats and a buzzing undertow. It’s reminiscent of the way Bowery Electric took the sound of ecstatic soaring guitars and made them throb to drum machine rhythms, but updated for a new century of technological beat-making, pulling off switchback returns until the final crash out.
“The Light Shining From A Window Behind Us” brings a benign uncoiling piano solo to the fore to introduce the final push into the reverse-engineered electronica of “Flight Paths,” where crossover keyboard reverberations trickle Harmonia-like into a langorous cloudscraping guitar line, all mellow and fruitfully calm until the music blossoms into the sort of sound which makes freefall dives into cottonwool spring to mind. But there’s a tricksy subtext here too, with interjections of chaos spilling the gentle mood briefly until the normality of the glissando is resumed." - Freq Zine



Soundtracks To Lost Road Movies:


(Plan B Magazine)

"Surging forth on a throb of sleek drum machine, Kontakte glide along a shimmering autobahn where audio technology drifts across the spectrum of retro-futurism. They shift down through the gears with a satisfyingly even sense of purpose, flit into passages where the only sound audible could be the dashboard clock marking a frozen time; then, they roar into overdrive, pistons heaving and churning with mechanical glee." - Plan B


"This is deeply affecting, life-affirming magnificence. The kind of music that picks you up when you least expect it to, transporting you from ennui and doubt to evangelical rebirth : a state of grace!" - Trakmarx


"In its gigantic shoegazing world of the sometimes 10 minute long instrumentals there is alot of noise and thunder; but again and again the cloudy sky opens up for moments of sheer infinite beauty. A masterpiece in concept and execution." - Bloom


"These are cinematic songs that persuade your mind to relax and glide skywards on a steam driven magic carpet made from the finest silk and powered by intricate passion. This is not so much an album to sit and listen to specific tracks, but it’s more an album to create an ambience, an atmosphere for a cerebral massage and to take you on a journey away from where you are now." - I Will Be Heard


"Soundtracks to Lost Road Movies glides over the listener in the filmic way the title suggests, with subtle haunting guitar riffs, delicate piano, and crisp electronic backbeats, all instrumental in style. When the rock action kicks in, you’re swept off your feet with the climax of it all." - God Is In The TV Zine


"On the back of a couple of wondorous 7" platters, Kontakte now offer up their fantastic debut album. Combining six tracks, and remixes of those six tracks, 'Soundtracks To Lost Road Movies' takes their motorik space-rock to new levels of excellence." - Piccadilly Records


"On its debut full-length, the London-based outfit serves up a fine-tuned instrumental blend of post-rock and shoegaze with many of the compositions working their way through the requisite peaks and valleys, and the band itself segueing between elegant quietude and volcanic guitar-fueled intensity. The coup de grace is clearly the sixth original 'Two and a Half Thousand Miles' which conceivably could be titled in reference to the distance the ten-minute composition ascends as it travels heavenwards. In this slow-burning fireball, the skill and patience with which Kontakte nurtures the piece's celestial mood and sustains its dramatic quality is impressive." - Textura


"Kontakte have begun to put my faith back in the post-rock genre just as it started to wane. They make songs and sounds with sweet melodies that swirl around your brain without becoming annoying. They know when to pick it up and change it so that the formulas make you want to tune in without turning off. People, this is really very good." - Both Bars On


"Kontakte's music totally invokes the essence of the open road; as the purple dusk skyline yawns across the expansive horizon and early evening bleeds into night, this 6 track LP is the perfect accompaniment, capturing such a scene as a painter might with watercolours. This is a promising debut from a promising band whose 'hypnotic, textural, cinematic noise' is set to illuminate the Post-Rock night sky for some time." - Maddog Magazine


"Soundtracks For Lost Road Movies' is a remarkably apt title for this release. A cinematic trip where the landscape is awe inspiring and ecstatically ethereal. Kontakte's music swells and simmers occasionally peaking to Mogwai-esque crescendos of white noise. Music to wonder at, to close your eyes and slip into a hallucinogenic naturalistic world. The album shows a depth of musicianship, production and song structure." - Crumbs In The Butter


"Soundtracks To Lost Road Movies is, as the name indicates, an album dedicated to vast spaces and the music to accompany road movies. A mixture of electronic and gliding sounds, yet exuberant and powerful at the same time, it provides a world of sound discovery with every encounter." - Resmusica


"Kontakte's  'Motorik' and sounds like brooding spacerock/dreampop with a chiming guitar line being eaten by a huge stomping feedback monster whilst a slightly awkward drum machine spits angrilly underneath the chaos. They obviously like Flowchart & Spacemen 3 and sound like they refused to enter the '00s cos they saw the big looming shitstorm that was gonna bland everyone's faces off so fell into a hazy abyss instead. And my ears are all the better for it." - Norman Records


"Two And A Half Thousand Miles is obscenely spacious, and is probably the music you'd hear if you lay dying in the middle of the Mojave Desert. This isn't always music, shifting from discernible melody to heaving fuzz with ease. It is, however, definitely worth a listen." - A New Band A Day


(Maddog Magazine, Summer 2008)





















(NME, Summer 2007)