Mount Kimbie - Crooks & Lovers (2xLP)
With two EPs and a handful of remixes, Mount Kimbie have opened a portal into the world of post-dubstep, electronic fusion soundscaping. 'Crooks & Lovers' is their much anticipated debut album, an assured statement comprised of crafty complexities and coherently juxtaposed angles making use of the freedom from any immediate dancefloor demands.
With their releases landing on HotFlush and their inclusion in the catch-all net of dubstep, you'd be forgiven for thinking they're a purely dancefloor act but there's many more elements at play within Mount Kimbie that we've always felt would better lend them to the album format. The shards of acoustic guitars, crying-on-the-dancefloor vocals and jazz arrangements woven into their singles are given more time to develop here, from the vocal glossolalia of 'Adriatic', sounding like an XX experiment recorded on a 10th storey balcony, to the woozy underwater accordian and nautical atmospherics of 'Ode To Bear' or the Bohren And Der Club Of Gore-style dark jazz closer 'Between Time', indulging their esoteric inclinations with finesse.
That's certainly not to say that they've forgetten the groove entirely. It's still a central feature of their sound, just largely slowed to a more sedate, hazy pace. The heavy compressed head-swing of 'Would Know' sounds like Actress stepping off with James Blake (who frequently works closely with the duo), and 'Blind Night Errand' programmes Bretschneider-esque digital minimalism spliced with an East London flex in line with Spatial productions.
They're at their best when all the elements mesh together, with idiosyncratic chord arrangements, effervescent R'n'B vibes and clinical rhythm structures of 'Carbonated' or the morphing BC-to-Balearia of 'Field' and the twitchy soul of 'Mayor'. 'Crooks & Lovers' is a deeply enjoyable album with a broad appeal to lovers of pop savvy, technically aware and original electronic music.
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