British experimental electronic outfit Mount Kimbie played to a sold-out crowd at Melbourne’s Hi Fi last Thursday.
The Brighton duo made up of friends Dominic Maker and Kai Campos have an expansive performance style, with the tag “post-dubstep” encapsulating their distinct brand of electronica.
The capacity crowd swooned to a multitude of loops, samples, and other such electronic showmanship that, given the highly technical nature of the material, could have been tedious to pull off in a live environment. However witnessing Kimbie’s atmospheric and at times fractious soundscape was something quite hard to pin down and a wholly unique sonic experience .
The music lulls listeners into a false state of comfort – you expect the beat to drop, but it doesn’t, and you’re suddenly placed into a celestial state as the guys from Mount Kimbie extend into technical wizardry. It’s almost orchestral in nature, as a rich tapestry of beats unravel over the course of their tracks. Drum machines, phasers, and effects pedals all coalesce in creating Mount Kimbie’s genre-breaking sound.
The set comprised material from the duo’s acclaimed EPs but chiefly from the act’s 2010 debut album Crooks & Lovers. A distinct a mixture of post-rock, garage beats and traditional songwriting, the record arrived as a stunning cohesion of influences.
Presenting a collection of new material, it’s easy to witness Kimbie’s sound evolving with shades of Burial, Four Tet, and subdued facets of Crystal Castles evident. Aside from these electronic influences, Kimbie add a more abrasive, darker soundtrack to the pot. Seemingly brought out of their grounding and adoration with indie acts such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, this concoction boils to a thick, brooding electronic exhibition.
The crowd was seemingly transfixed by Mount Kimbie’s restraint. The highly textured sound pieces bathed The Hi-Fi in an ocean of heavy bass and rattling guitar hooks.
There’s no doubting Maker and Campos’ sheer musicianship. Their grip on the simultaneous loops and samples, along with lead guitar and percussion, was something to witness and must be commended.
Mount Kimbie are definitely harbingers of a sound that arrives as if it has been beamed from a dissonant future, with the duo appearing as alchemists teleported back to us offering music that is incredibly unique. These two young men are definitely worth keeping tabs on, as their new material suggests more nuanced (and commercially successful) things to come.