Kontakte - Soundtracks to Lost Road Movies
Miss Fliss 06/01/2009
For those who hanker after Young Team era Mogwai, with its disparate strides between twinkling soothing lullabies and roaring earthquake post rock, this album by London's Kontakte might just appease. 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.
This is definitely a headphones album, in as much as you need to plug not just your ears but your whole cerebral self to the sonics at work and get caught up in the trance-like weave. When the piano lilts over just the bass and fuzz, it's glorious simplicity. The glockenspiel work is really pretty too, especially on the track Pacific Coast to Highway - but there's a nasty edge to this song when the guitars bite in with their mighty menacing clunk.
Some of the backing beats lend a chaotic air and it often sounds like the CD might be stuck, such is the off-kilter mania of the rhythm and speed. And the last two tracks build up into war-loud bass and drums.
There are quite a few remixes of songs on the album, and it's great to see there's effort from Winterlight, who are another new post-rock act worth checking out for their atmospheric bliss. But despite the presence of remixers, the album peddles at rather samey sound ground, and you are left with the feeling that a lot more variety and verve could have been injected. This is the only thing approaching letdown for me, though, as the album is overall a fine exemplar of post rock, up there with some of Mogwai's greater moments, and it's a lot better than those Fuck Buttons too.