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Despite its red herring sleeve featuring a big fat arse, Mount Kimbie’s ‘Crooks and Lovers’ was one of those slow burning classics, an unclassifiable post dubstep record which included elements of soulful hip hop and post-rock, whose deep late night atmospheres ingrained deeper into your soul on each spin. They’ve taken their time on the follow up but after a few initial misgivings it’s proving to be an extremely popular choice cut in this office of differing characters and like its predecessor it’s sounding more and more like a stone cold classic on each listen.
My initial worries concerned the use of King Krule as vocalist on a couple of tracks, his cock(mock?)neyisms work very well on his own brand of quirky lo-fidelity guitar led urban soul but introduced into a more danceable arena, they suggest a little too much of the sarf Laaaandan inflections that litter a lot of the electronica that has emerged after dubstep. Thankfully there are so many highlights and hidden gems on this record that you can forgive the odd track for not hitting the high water mark. That said, Mount Kimbie have infused vocals into their music more successfully I think than their peers and label mates Darkstar in that there is a cut up element to them and their disjointedness reflects the music which often appears one step away from tumbling down some stairs.
A prime example of this is ‘Blood and Form’ which marries a truly distinctive high pitched synth and beat to a lovelorn distracted voice. It at once sounds alien, otherworldly and somehow soothing. What I loved about the previous record was the element of guitar based/post rock influences that Mount Kimbie shoehorn into their sound, ‘Break Well’ starts with some gorgeous warm synth before bursting into a fantastic cascading bass and guitar instrumental piece. ‘Made to Stray’ is another highlight, taking an age to get going with bouncy drum machine beats the acidy squiggles finally bring forth a gorgeous melody coming across like Aphex Twin or Squarepusher at their most melodic, finally adding in a slightly scattershot vocal which sit in perfectly. It’s a brilliant track, and exemplifies perfectly the kind of relaxed vibe of this record. Their melodic ideas seem to be effortless.
The best King Krule collaboration is ‘Meter Pale Tone’ in which he half sings, half scats over a drum led percussive piece held together with warm melodic bass and the kind of summery skittery sound used on Disco Inferno’s stunning ‘Summer’s Last Sound’. While ‘Slow’ and ‘Sullen Ground’ revisit the late night dub/soul of their debut, ‘Fall Out’ is another killer track. They have a remarkable way of infusing great bass and guitar lines into their electronic wizardry and here they come across in the vein of the superb American band Chessie, a backing of odd, distorted Philip Glass like piano figure is changed out of all recognition by the addition of another one of those bass lines, reminding me also of Seefeel. Mount Kimbie have created a varied record that constantly impresses, it’s hard to compare them with anyone else and there seems to be a surprise or a forgotten gem around every corner. You’ll need to give it a few listens but once it clicks you are left a highly listenable smorgasbord of sounds.
10/10 Paul Customer review, 12th November 2013
I was one of the lucky ones in Bristol last night to see Mount Kimbie live. The experience reminding how good this Album is and yes it is different to Crooks and Lovers. Cold spring fault less youth is where Mount Kimbie introduce different take on the music showing its not all dubstep but also acoustic sound.Introducing more vocals as well works but it is still the instrumental stuff that hits the spot for me.If you can the chance see them live the tunes are mega remixed and just makes you want to play , play and play this album,excellent.
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