Mount Kimbie

mount kimbie

Mount Kimbie is a British electronic music duo consisting of Dominic Maker and Kai Campos. They formed the group in London in 2008 and released their debut album ‘Crooks & Lovers’ in 2010 in the UK to critical acclaim. Mount Kimbie are currently working on their second album which will be released on Warp Records. Arguably responsible for the term ‘post-dubstep,’ the duo has released a series of EPs and their highly praised debut album.

‘The Guardian’ described the pair as ‘leading an exploratory breakaway from bass-heavy dubstep towards a lighter, hazier style of electronica rich with drowsy ambience and chopped-up found sounds.’ The pair are closely linked to friend, producer and ‘BBC Sound of’ 2011 runner-up, James Blake. He has collaborated with them live and lent his skills to the remixing of ‘Maybes,’ as well as contributing elements to ‘Crooks & Lovers.’

The duo used a mixture of field recordings, samples and live instrumentation to create the album, about which Campos stated ‘we don’t record for a certain purpose, or with a motive, it’s more to see what comes out of it… it’s never the noises you think are going to work that do, which keeps it interesting.’ Maker added that ‘getting the record done was like reaching the pinnacle of the sound we were trying to achieve when we started out making music together’ and said of the writing of the record, ‘It’s been a very gradual process, and we’ve been playing live a lot over the past few months, so it’s been all about taking ideas and working on them between shows… Constructing the live set was really helpful in terms of actually finishing off ideas. We slowly realized that if something sounds good at the time, don’t sit there and overproduce it for weeks and weeks – there’s no need. Doing it live really helps with that.’ BBC Music said ”Crooks & Lovers’ is an album of abrupt changes and paradoxes, at once organic and heavily processed, drowsy and yet with moments of eyes-on-stalks urgency, acoustically sweet and electrically charged. It’s akin to gently drifting in and out of consciousness on a bus trip, only to be sporadically jolted back into consciousness.’

Campos says in an interview with ‘Pitchfork Media,’ ‘With Mount Kimbie, we started off trying to imitate other stuff– and we failed. But in failing to do that, we stumbled across a sound that’s inherently our own. Failing to imitate others only happens because of the mindset that you come from. It’s part of finding your own voice. When musicians go through that, the results are, by definition, original. Most of the music that sounds like it’s been influenced by [‘Crooks & Lovers’] that has come out since sounds fairly dull, and it’s not something we want to carry on doing. We want to get away from it.’ Maker says in an interview with ‘FACT,’ ‘The new stuff is a lot more free than the songs we’ve done before, in terms of composition. It’s still entirely produced on a computer, but the drums and percussion are much more live in their feel, in rhythm and in flow. In terms of the actual sound…it’s quite a bit bigger sounding that what we’ve done before. I think it’s still quite delicate material, but it has a bigger sound compared to the last album, and I think that must be informed really greatly by what we’ve spent the last two years doing – playing live.’

Some other prominent artists of post-dubstep are Joy Orbison, James Blake, Actress, Untold, and Ikonika, but Mount Kimbie were described by ‘Inhabit Online Magazine’ as pioneers of a truly unique sound. ‘Pitchfork Media’ described the duo’s music as ‘pretty, mostly mid-tempo tracks between three and four minutes long with sped-up vocal samples, little tunnels of ambience, unimposing synth patches, and syncopated percussion that sounds like someone putting away the silverware.’ The duo use field recordings to form major elements of their music. ‘It’s amazing what you can pick up with a field microphone. I mean, you might just hear someone riding around but when you slow it down it’s almost like there’s a beat to it. And then just taking little pockets of that rhythm and stretching it out. A lot of what we do is about experimenting with different little bits of tone that you don’t necessarily hear on the first listen… and then trying to make songs out of them.’ Mount Kimbie also play many instruments live including guitars, bass, keyboards, Native Instruments Maschine, delay pedals, samplers, Korg Kaosspad, drum pads, snare, ride cymbal, and vocals. James Blake was once a touring member of the band.

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