The house-spun sound of Mount Kimbie‘s latest release, “Cold Spring Fault Less Youth,” has a quiet power about it that is somehow calming and colorful.
Each song is boldly original yet it’s all cohesive. It’s full of a labyrinth of different percussion sounds incorporated around a dance-house beat. Moody inflections meander throughout the tracks, while the lyrics take a comfortable back seat to rhythm and melody.
Mount Kimbie is a British electronic-music group with two people – Dominic Maker and Kai Campos. They are known for putting their mark on the post-dubstep sound, which uses instruments like sequencers, turntables and personal computers. Back in 2011, Mount Kimbie was listed among 10 influential post-dubstep artists. For new listeners to the genre, picture a technically clean sound landscape with precise tonal details in its rhythym and melody.
Their full-length debut, 2010’s “Crooks & Lovers,” appeared near the top of many critics’ must-have lists. Along with a string of EPs, released mostly through vinyl or download, they’ve been planted squarely at the epicenter of this burgeoning electro-techno sound.
The music on “Cold Spring Fault Less Youth” at times sounds like the music you hear if you were shopping in the type of high-end clothing store, with security guards and pocketbooks under glass. It’s classy. This does not in any way mean their music is artificial, just that it’s peaceful and introspective.
The young indie singer-songwriter King Krule provides help on two tracks. He deadpans on the song “You Took Your Time,” as the organ lays over it all. His voice then moves into another realm in the song; continuous cymbal tapping adds a level of funk.
“Blood and Form” also contains weird percussion, a stark single drum echoed in a dark room, like a heavy footstep or a deliberate stomp. By contrast, “Sullen Ground” is dueling percussion, as if someone is knocking on heavy metal doors. Competing tempos on “Fall Out” offer more variety amid an already vibrant set of tracks. Sounds morph into other sounds, like synth and guitar, such as on “So Many Times So Many Ways.”
On “Lie Near,” drums sound like a heartbeat as the song closes. Throughout “Cold Spring,” sounds are woven together in an electronic tapestry of bass and cymbals.
“Made to Stray’ portrays more weird but vibrant percussion; it’s as if the drumbeat is in the room with you. The organ provides a thin veil of calmness; the tone, almost primal as it builds toward the chorus. Listen to “Made to Stray” here.
The sounds in “Home Recording” hearken to the days of typewriters and tape decks. A homey organ spreads out spiritual notes. When those notes and lines are on repeat, it almost becomes a holy chant, as if in a cathedral.
Mount Kimbie has now embarked on a world tour through December, hitting LA, Boston, NYC and a lot in between through October, before trekking through Denmark, London, Italy and a host of other countries to round out the year.
You can find “Cold Spring Fault Less Youth,” released May 28, on Warp Records.
Mount Kimbie seems very sure of their future and their music reflects that confidence and style. With all the cookie-cutter sound that floods the airwaves, it’s nice to know these guys are here to break down those barriers.
Dig It or Ditch It: Definitely dig it.