Mount Kimbie and their otherworldly sound are arguably responsible for the pioneering of post dup-step over a decade ago. Since then the electronic duo have continued to flirt with a variety of freeform styles.
Their new album Love What Survives explores a myriad of musical genres, each song so individual you can barely believe they call the same disc home, and yet they do. The album features a group of exceptionally talented artists which only adds to the albums’ multi-faceted personality.
The magical duo have always had a talent for taking you into another stratosphere whilst the world around you continues to speed on. ‘Four Years and One Day’ starts the album off in just this manner, a phantasmal layering of synths and motoric rhythms which culminates in a fire of utter guitar dissonance.
King Krule offers some variety with his unmistakable growl in ‘Blue Train Lines’. The track offers an unrelenting pulse accurately emulating the title throughout. On reflection, Archy Marshall’s distinctive vocal style may have identified this as the marmite track of the album. Only time will tell if the collaboration has more support either way.
The two instrumental tracks ‘Audition’ and ‘Delta’ provide a variation in the record and demonstrate the duo’s ability to leave you in awe with exquisite minimalism. Moving back and forth from ambient to gritty atmospheres confirms their roles as innovators in the music world.
‘Marilyn’ is the undeniable sans pariel of the album, even making use of a thumb piano which provides the track with an exotic timbre. Classically trained singer/songwriter Micachu’s vocals fit perfectly, the collaboration departs from the fighting genres of previous tracks to create an outstanding piece of art. A truly disarming track.
‘You Look Certain (I’m not so sure)’’s driving beat is skilfully counterbalanced by the band’s live vocalist Andrea Balency. His voice, which is multi-tracked, is irresistible despite the monotonous style. The track’s icing on the cake is of course the distorted guitar riff that begins the track, creating a true highlight of the album.
Suddenly a collection of atmospheric minor and discordant piano chords ring out in beautiful clarity, giving the impression of the use of a broken/out-of-tune piano. ‘Poison’, a short, under two minute track gives full attention to a delicate and minimal piano improvisation that will leave you speechless before moving onto the featuring of James Blake’s raw vocals in ‘We Go Home Together’.
The album finishes with ‘How We Got By’, also featuring James Blake. An ethereal percussion decorates the background whilst lyrics like “When I get it wrong, I really get it wrong” draw on some honest, raw reflection creating a beautiful conclusion to the album.
Listen to this album on repeat and soon the science of reasoning behind the design will all become clear, full circle in fact….
IMAGE: basic_sounds, Flickr