Formed in 2008, Mount Kimbie is an electronic duo that released three studio albums with “Love What Survives” being the latest. The duo Dominic Maker and Kai Campos, continue their electronic sound explorations as well as develop newer post-punk sounds. This album creates a driving world within itself, crafting danceable and mature textures that make this an exciting step in Mount Kimbie’s discography and career.
This album is an evolution of the band’s sound, as “Love What Survives” contains less full-blown electronic sounds. For this album, the band pulled influence from genres like krautrock and post-punk. Some of the tracks that display this influence include track four, “Marilyn,” which features Micachu on vocals. This track drives with a repetitious beat while Micachu’s vocals of the same phrase are placed on top, in a tumbling fashion, giving the impression of being far too out of it in a crowded dance club, as the loud beat seems to push you restlessly around. Track six, “You Look Certain (I’m Not So Sure)” feels like a darker seedier version of a Stereolab track, with the pulsing rhythm moving underneath the feature vocals of Andrea Balency who says the title of the song repeatedly.
A highlight of this album is the featured vocalists on many of the tracks. The vocals add a level of texture that gives the tracks a more interesting nature and the vocals are often repetitive hooks that burrow into your brain, drawing you further into the music. Many of the features are well known artists, like King Krule and James Blake, that demonstrate how Mount Kimbie is building relationships in the industry. And these feature tracks prove themselves to be full of talented artists like King Krule who is the vocals of the second track “Blue Train Lines.” This track is likely the most readily powerful and accessible track on the album with Krule laying down verses describing him looking at the veins on his arms. Krule’s signature low growling voice is a highlight as he builds in energy throughout the song, reaching points of yelling that give way to driving basslines and drum beats from Mount Kimbie. “Blue Train Lines” is a pumping track, reminding one of the feeling of running through the streets in the middle of the night, throwing responsibilities to the wind. This track is possibly the most readily enjoyable one on the album. Definitely listen.
While the driving beats and lush textures of the electronic sounds crafted by Mount Kimbie often create a deep enjoyable environment, they also run the risk of dragging; unfortunately some of the tracks fall victim to this. For instance the last track, “How We Got By,” with James Blake on vocals, seems to drag a bit with the drawn out piano and lulling drum rhythm not doing much to add excitement. The feature of James Blake is definitely a positive,as he is a talent of the R&B electronic genre, but even he doesn’t fully save this track from coming in a little lackluster. “Love What Survives” has entered into the 2017 music scene as one of the highlights of music this year, with superb electronic textures and beats by Mount Kimbie that while repetitive, rarely give a reason to lose interest. This is an album to appeal to most sets of ears. If you’re looking to dance or feel or think, put on Mount Kimbie and do enjoy
Recommended Tracks: Blue Train Lines (ft. King Krule), Marilyn (ft. Micachu), Delta
Provided by WMEB 91.9FM, a student-run, non profit radio station located on the ground floor of the Memorial Union.