Mount Kimbie, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth

Andy Battaglia

By Andy Battaglia

on 05.27.13 in Reviews
A new kind of electronic mood music

Mount Kimbie rose up in the UK in the wake of dubstep, though a different kind of dubstep than the big, shuddering, concussive kind that’s now lacing megalithic dance clubs and multiday festivals in the name of EDM. Theirs was a haunted, refined variety that homed in on details and favored negative space, and the logic of it leant to the practice of writing songs (as opposed to just dance tracks), which Mount Kimbie undertook around the same time as fellow post-dubstep compatriot James Blake. Similarities with Blake figured into Mount Kimbie’s 2010 full-length debut Crooks & Lovers, but on their sophomore album (and first for the big electronic label Warp), the duo — Dominic Maker and Kai Campos — arrive upon a Mount Kimbie sound wholly their own. Displaying a remarkable range, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth wanders between atmospheric song forms and pumped-up club tracks, each one unique and ready to blur around its boundaries. “Home Recording” opens on a mellow, melodic note with bits of guitar and horns laid over easygoing vocals and synthesizer chords, supplemented by warm washes of bass. “Break Well” plays a neat trick by switching from ambient drama to a funky fit of jangling-guitar instrumental pop about two-thirds of the way through, and other tracks toggle between smart dance-floor fodder (“Made to Stray”) and delicate forays into slower but still scintillating tempos (“So Many Times, So Many Ways,” “Sullen Ground”). All together, it’s a new kind of electronic mood music with signals of more moods to move through still.