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Negative Space - Gestalt LP

Negative Space - Gestalt LP

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The Members got it right when they said theirs was the sound of the suburbs. So what’s the sound of the city? Fraught. Chaotic. Contradictory. So busy and frantic that you really notice the space when things get quiet – not that this happens too much. Negative Space cover those bases, making a furiously engaging racket that you’d recognise as ‘post-punk’ – and yeah, that feels like a pretty redundant phrase in 2017, but luckily ‘redundant’ is not an adjective you could throw at this lot.
They make righteous noise from anger and poetry from confusion, and if that sounds too prissy for you then maybe it’s time to reassess your priorities.
Gestalt isn’t just an LP though. It’s a statement; an investigation; a baring of the soul in both the frankest and most oblique terms possible. Gender dysphoria and shitty working conditions are among the prescient topics investigated, and they all comes fused with a twanging, discordant, pulsating set of hooks that recall minimalist forefathers like Wire and a peppier Gang of Four while simultaneously feeling wonderfully, urgently NOW.

Our take: Debut LP from this UK post-punk band, and I have to say it’s quite striking. Every once in a while we get in a record at the shop that sells off the turntable every time you put it on… Gestalt is one of those records. Whenever it’s playing at the shop customers ask what it is and often buy it right away. There’s something very weighty and important-feeling about it, but it’s also rather stylish and at the same time poppy and accessible. The label’s description references Wire and Gang of Four and both of those bands are apt comparisons in that they have a similar mixture of qualities, though Negative Space are a bit grittier and sound, to me at least, like they must be informed by hardcore on at least some level. The band they really sound to me, though, is Diät, particularly their excellent Positive Energy LP on Iron Lung Records (and, I guess by extension, one might say that they sound quite a bit like Crisis too). While Negative Space don’t have quite the Total Control-level of pop sheen that Diät have, the vocalist has a very similar intonation and the songs are similarly balanced in their originality and their earworm-iness. I suppose time will tell if Gestalt is a record that people keep coming back to year after year, but it’s definitely looking that way. Even though I haven’t heard much about this group from the hype machine, it’s only a matter of time before something this well-done, engaging, and catchy becomes the hot new thing. Highly recommended.

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