[live review] port-royal, kontakte, winterlight @ wilmington arms, london
November 4, 2010
Concert date: October 29, 2010
Last Friday saw an evening of extremely satisfying electronic shoegaze at the Wilmington Arms in Clerkenwell, courtesy of Italian dreamscapers port-royal (pictured above), London-based Kontakte and Winterlight, who hail from Cornwall.
The venue’s intimate club setting, with semi-improvised audiovisual projection system (a sheet hung up at the back), provided a fitting context for the flowing, saturated, minor-key house of port-royal’s Dying In Time (2009, reviewed here), material from which constituted the majority of their set. The feel was familiar (familial even) but exploratory, introspective but welcoming – like their album only more so.
I hadn’t come across Kontakte (pictured above) before this performance. They wear their Germanic inspiration lightly (being named after a seminal Stockhausen piece and all), focusing instead on a universal, propulsive, often noisy – though always accessible – wall of electric guitar and synthetic textures and rhythm. Very effective it was too, and entirely sympathetic to port-royal’s set to come (watch one of the songs they performed here). I will definitely be looking up their new album, We Move Through Negative Spaces, when it arrives early next year.
Unfortunately I was too late to catch much of Winterlight’s set. Based on video evidence, though, it was a slightly poppier (with a nostalgia-inducing early-80s hue) take on the night’s instrumental shoegaze template – though no less intelligent or transporting for it. Again, a new album in early 2011 should be on your listening list.
Winterlight’s Tim Ingham joined port-royal on stage for their set too (they are label-mates) and, as an aside, he also designed the album cover for Dying In Time – further examples of the symbiosis between these three artists that made this evening gel so well.