Mount Kimbie is an English electronic music duo, consisting of Dominic Maker and Kai Campos. They formed the group in London in 2008 and released their debut album Crooks & Lovers in 2010 in the UK to critical acclaim.
The band released their second album, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, in 2013 through Warp Records.
Kai Campos is originally from St. Austell in Cornwall, while Dom Maker is from Brighton. They met at Southbank University in London, where Campos was having another go at university and Maker was studying film. They started making music together at a home studio in Peckham.
Arguably responsible for the term "post-dubstep", the duo has released a series of EPs and their highly praised debut album Crooks & Lovers. The Guardian described the pair as "leading an exploratory breakaway from bass-heavy dubstep towards a lighter, hazier style of electronica rich with drowsy ambience and chopped-up found sounds."
The band's debut album, entitled Crooks and Lovers, was released on 19 June 2010 in the UK to critical acclaim, and achieved a 7.9 ADM Rating on review aggregator website AnyDecentMusic?.
At the end of 2010, Crooks & Lovers was included in over thirty 'Best of 2010' lists, including NME, Mixmag, DJ Magazine, Resident Advisor, Pitchfork Media, Drowned In Sound, Boomkat, FACT,Rough Trade and Phonica Records. NME listed them at number 22 in their 30 Artists For 2011.
The pair are closely linked to friend, producer and BBC Sound of 2011 runner-up, James Blake. He has collaborated with them live and lent his skills to the remixing of "Maybes" which features on the Mount Kimbie EP Remixes Part 1, released 12 April 2010, as well as contributing elements to Crooks & Lovers.
Mount Kimbie have produced remixes for The Big Pink, Foals, The xx and Andreya Triana.
Mount Kimbie signed to Warp Records in June 2012.
The band's Maybes EP was released on 2 February 2009 through Hotflush Recordings as 12" vinyl and digital download. The EP was described by Pitchfork Media as having "character, humor, light chaos, nice sound design, and real melodic imperative".Resident Advisor reckoned "That the duo have managed something this accomplished for their debut indicates the probable arrival of a major talent" while XLR8R described the work as "deceptively complex, with a sense of floating formlessness akin to the gentler side of '90s-era British IDM".
A1. Maybes A2. William B1. Vertical B2. Taps
Sketch on Glass EP
The band's second EP, Sketch on Glass was released on 31 July 2009 on Hotflush Recordings receiving rave reviews on Resident Advisor, with FACT stating that the duo have "essentially proved that they can take on most of dubstep’s more interesting strains and fit them to their own vision; in many cases bettering their more experienced peers."
A1. "Sketch On Glass" A2. "Serged" B1. "Fifty Mile View" B2. "At Least"
Crooks & Lovers
The band released Crooks & Lovers on Hotflush Recordings on 19 July 2010. Pitchfork Media called it a "beautiful, small and clever album", Vice Magazine awarded it 10/10, describing the record as one which "stands out as something genuinely special", and NME placed it at number fifty-six in their top Seventy Albums of 2010. It was Rough Trade's Album of the Week, Drowned In Sound described the record as "yet another indefinable beast, one that seems to take real joy in refusing to bow to expectations, and avoids conventional song structures in favour of hazy, dreamlike composition" and "certainly a contender for album of the year"
The duo used a mixture of field recordings, samples and live instrumentation to create the album, about which Campos stated "we don’t record for a certain purpose, or with a motive, it's more to see what comes out of it... it's never the noises you think are going to work that do, which keeps it interesting." and Maker said that "getting the record done was like reaching the pinnacle of the sound we were trying to achieve when we started out making music together" and said of the writing of the record, "It’s been a very gradual process, and we’ve been playing live a lot over the past few months, so it’s been all about taking ideas and working on them between shows… Constructing the live set was really helpful in terms of actually finishing off ideas. We slowly realised that if something sounds good at the time, don’t sit there and overproduce it for weeks and weeks – there’s no need. Doing it live really helps with that."
By the end of 2010, Crooks & Lovers had been included in over 30 Best of 2010 lists.BBC Music said "Crooks & Lovers is an album of abrupt changes and paradoxes, at once organic and heavily processed, drowsy and yet with moments of eyes-on-stalks urgency, acoustically sweet and electrically charged. It's akin to gently drifting in and out of consciousness on a bus trip, only to be sporadically jolted back into consciousness."
The album was among the 12 shortlisted for Drowned In Sound's Neptune Music Prize in 2010, and was also nominated for The Guardian 's 'First Album Award' in the same year.
The first single from Crooks & Lovers was "Mayor / Would Know". It was released on 12" vinyl and digital. The video for "Would Know" was directed by Tyrone Lebon.
|Drowned in Sound||9/10|
|Rough Trade||Album of The Week|
|Sunday Times Culture||4*|
|Loud & Quiet||9/10|
|Beatport||Album of the Week|
|Irish Times||CD of the Week|
Blind Night Errand EP
Blind Night Errand EP was released on 29 November 2010 on 12" vinyl and digital download. The EP included the song "Before I Move Off" of which there is a video by Tyrone Lebon which debuted on Pitchfork Media - the video is a montage of 8000 photographs. The EP also includes an alternate version of "William" remixed by Mount Kimbie themselves, alongside a live recording of "Maybes" taken from a set at the Berghain club in Berlin.
- "Blind Night Errand"
- "Before I Move Off"
- "William (Dayglo Mix)"
- "Maybes (Live at Berghain, Berlin)"
The Carbonated EP is the last release derived from material from the Crooks & Lovers album, and includes remixes of the title track by Airhead and Peter Van Hoesen. B-sides include "Baves Chords", produced at the same time as the Maybes EP, and "Flux", written for the Carbonated EP. The video was again directed by Tyrone Lebon. A session version of the title track "Carbonated", recorded at SXSW in 2011 features on the 'Best of Daytrotter 2011' list.
Cold Spring Fault Less Youth
On 25 March 2013, Pitchfork announced the release of Mount Kimbie's second album, "Cold Spring Fault Less Youth". The album was released on 28 May 2013 with Warp Records and features two collaborations with King Krule.
The announcement of the second album was welcomed by most major music press including: Clash Magazine, This is Fake DIY, FACT Magazine, Dummy and Mixmag. On 26 March 2013 Pitchfork made "Made to Stray" best new track. The track was first aired on London DJ Ben UFO's weekly Rinse FM show on 7 March 2013.
Campos says in an interview with Pitchfork Media "With Mount Kimbie, we started off trying to imitate other stuff-- and we failed. But in failing to do that, we stumbled across a sound that's inherently our own. Failing to imitate others only happens because of the mindset that you come from. It's part of finding your own voice. When musicians go through that, the results are, by definition, original. Most of the music that sounds like it's been influenced by [Crooks & Lovers] that has come out since sounds fairly dull, and it's not something we want to carry on doing. We want to get away from it.".
Maker says in an interview with FACT "The new stuff is a lot more free than the songs we’ve done before, in terms of composition. It’s still entirely produced on a computer, but the drums and percussion are much more live in their feel, in rhythm and in flow. In terms of the actual sound…it’s quite a bit bigger sounding that what we’ve done before. I think it’s still quite delicate material, but it has a bigger sound compared to the last album, and I think that must be informed really greatly by what we’ve spent the last two years doing – playing live."
As part of album release, Mount Kimbie hosted their "Mount Kimbie & friends" Boiler Room on 21 May. Guest DJs included James Blake, Gilles Peterson, Micachu, George Fitzgerald, Midland, Jon Rust, Reecha, and Demus.
Artwork for the album is by Leif Podhajsky, and the official video for "Made To Stray" was also directed by him. A video for "You Took Your Time" was produced by Marcus Söderlund and released in July 2013.
Dummy Magazine included "Cold Spring Fault Less Youth" in their "Best Of 2013" list
|The Guardian||4/5||"Bigger and bolder than their 2010 debut Crooks & Lovers"|
|Clash Magazine||9/10||"Seeps with a distant brilliance"|
|NME||8/10||"Ruthless in their pursuit of greatness"|
|Mixmag||8/10||"Cerebral and arresting"|
|Uncut||8/10||"All the hustle, serendipity and moments of beautiful clarity that characterise urban life are here in nuanced, very modern song"|
|Time Out||4/5||"Brilliantly rough beats and low-key melodies. An enthralling return."|
|DJ Mag||9/10||"A bolder and more confident sound"|
|The Big Issue||5/5||"A band operating at the interface of other forms to create something new. Superb"|
|The Skinny||4/5||Album of the Month|
|Musikexpress||5.5/6||Album of the Month|
|Groove||Album of the Issue|
|Consequence of Sound||3.5/5|
|i-D Magazine||"One of London's most ambitious and exciting electronic duo"|
"CSFLY Remixes" EP
On the 28th October 2013 Warp released the Mount Kimbie "CSFLY Remixes" EP, showcasing remixes off the Cold Spring Fault Less Youth album. Detroit techno wonderkid Kyle Hall, cosmic house artist DJ Koze, leftfield electronic experimentalist Lee Gamble & the South London "DJ's DJ" DJ Oneman ft. Jeremiah Jae all feature.
- Mount Kimbie - You Took Your Time (Kyle Hall Remix)
- Mount Kimbie - Made To Stray (DJ Koze Remix)
- Mount Kimbie - You Took Your Time (Lee Gamble Remix)
- Mount Kimbie - You Took Your Time (Oneman Remix feat. Jeremiah Jae) [Digital Exclusive]
Mount Kimbie were described by Inhabit Online Magazine as pioneers of a truly unique sound. Pitchfork Media described the duo's music as "pretty, mostly mid-tempo tracks between three and four minutes long with sped-up vocal samples, little tunnels of ambience, unimposing synth patches, and syncopated percussion that sounds like someone putting away the silverware."
The duo use field recordings to form major elements of their music. "It’s amazing what you can pick up with a field microphone. I mean, you might just hear someone riding around but when you slow it down it’s almost like there’s a beat to it. And then just taking little pockets of that rhythm and stretching it out. A lot of what we do is about experimenting with different little bits of tone that you don’t necessarily hear on the first listen... and then trying to make songs out of them."
Mount Kimbie play many instruments live including guitars, bass, keyboards, Native Instruments Maschine, delay pedals, samplers, Korg Kaosspad, drum pads, snare, ride cymbal, and vocals. James Blake was once a touring member of the band.
In 2010, Mount Kimbie toured the UK, Europe and America. They were also involved in the festival circuit playing at The Great Escape Festival, Stag & Dagger festival, Glade Festival, Field Day Festival and Bestival amongst others. The duo were then invited to perform at Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards event in February 2011.
In March and April 2011, they embarked on a US tour which included performances at SXSW and Coachella. They also toured in Australia in March, selling out all six of their performances, with Australia's The Vine saying of their Melbourne performance, "They flesh out skeletal elements of tracks with alternative instrumentation, or accentuate features with subtle additions or substitutions. In this way much of the material aired tonight is invigoratingly bolstered, altered or augmented in some way. It makes for a stimulating performance." However, regarding a live realisation of Crooks & Lovers in Glasgow in early 2011 The Guardian said that "presenting such short tunes as standalone pieces when they might function better threaded together gives the set a disjointed feel."
Tony Kus has been the band's live drummer since joining them in October 2012.
The group toured North America with Squarepusher in October and November 2012.
The Astral Plane interviewed Mount Kimbie in November 2012 where they discussed the technical aspects of their live and studio set ups.
Mount Kimbie performed a full tour across the US and Europe in late 2013 to tie in with the launch of their album, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth.
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
Crooks & Lovers
Cold Spring Fault Less Youth
CSFLY Remixes EP
Blind Night Errand
Mayor / Would Know
Sketch on Glass
- The xx - "Basic Space" (2009)
- The Big Pink - "Velvet" (2009)
- Foals - "Spanish Sahara" (2010)
- LV & Untold - "Beacon" (2010)
- Andreya Triana - "A Town Called Obsolete" (2010)
- Kelis - "Jerk Ribs" (2014)