Mount Kimbie – Cold Spring Fault Less Youth Review

Mount Kimbie 1

Mount Kimbie’s second LP sees them take a few more steps away from the post-dubstep scene, incorporating a wider range of influences to their sound. Released on the iconic Warp Records, there’s a definite change in style with this record as the duo take a more musical approach; making their samples, in particular the drums, sound more like live instrumentation. However, the sound does still remain within the more experimental and atmospheric side of things with the off-kilter rhythms and swirling atmospheres typical of all Mount Kimbie productions.

The album starts with ‘Home Recording’ which slowly builds up in atmosphere, with tranquil synths and strings and eventually a kick. The vocals are slow and gentle, draped casually over the expanding beat. The introduction of a solid 4×4 kick gives an indication of the more house influenced nature of the album but as the sound cuts back to the almost church like ambience and the askew rhythm of the outro it’s clear that this is an album of twists and turns with worldwide influences.

The second track, ‘You Took Your Time’, is the first of two collaborations with King Krule, a British singer-songwriter nominated for the BBC Sound of 2013 at the end of last year. The harsh, spoken word of King Krule’s contribution to this grooving beat is equal parts menacing and relaxing and works perfectly.

‘Break Well’ is two and half minutes of atmospheric bliss leading to a bass guitar driven track that sounds ideal for driving around on a summer’s day. The strive for a more live sounding, less computer driven sound is clearly evident here. As though to show off their great diversity of production skill, the following tune starts off with a wonky synth and drum line that shows the weird and wonderful side of the electronica these two can produce.

Next up is ‘Made To Stray’, the first track shown off in the lead up to the album’s release, initially aired on Ben UFO’s Rinse show a few months ago. This shows Campos and Maker at their most dance floor ready as the pulsing intro builds with some great percussion to the introduction of the main synth melody which provides a blissful vibe.

‘So Many Times, So Many Ways’ sounds like an indie band jamming but in a really good way. This sort of thing might seem a bit out of place on other electronic music albums but fits perfectly here as the feeling within the music remains true to the overall aesthetic of the album. Back to more electronic and more experimental territory with ‘Lie Near’; a stomping soundscape with cymbals crashing and a very melancholic melody which is reminiscent of artists like 65daysofstatic.

‘Meter, Pale, Tone’ is the second track featuring King Krule and the better of the two in my opinion. The rolling percussion gives a really upbeat feel which juxtaposes the slow drawl of King Krule and makes for really interesting listening. The synth lines throughout ‘Slow’ are all really catchy and this is a song that I can imagine working really well in their live sets.

‘Sullen Ground’ sets off with an industrial mood with a lively thumping bass that quickly transforms to a more Arabian vibe but with the kick continuing to pound. I’d say this tune has my favourite use of vocals on the album with echoing, hard to decipher vocals doubling up and looping around throughout. The final track, ‘Fall Out’, finishes things off nicely with a nice piano section over some really well executed percussion.

Whilst this album lacks the incredible stand out tracks of their previous effort it is still a very solid piece of work that sees the duo expand their musical pallet. I get the impression this album has been written solely from the perspective of playing live and whilst I don’t think this detracts from the album I think these tracks will sound a lot better performed live. Nonetheless, still a really great listen and well worth a purchase.

Written by Andy Brennan

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