Mount Kimbie – Cold Spring Fault Less Youth
After kickstarting the post-dubstep sound on Crooks & Lovers, Mount Kimbie have turned their attention towards stranger sounds and more challenging song structures, bringing Kai Campos' vocals to the fore. The tracks Campos leads are among the standouts – opener Home Recording nods to James Blake while walking their own distinct line, pairing subtle electronic percussion with muted woodwind and organ, and Campos' fragile voice.
You Took Your Time, one of two collaborations with King Krule, starts as low-slung electronic hip-hop, but takes a sharp left turn into Clash-like blues-punk crooning. Break Well carries hints of Tame Impala's exquisitely faded surf pop, while the fantastic Made To Stray reconfigures minimal techno as horn-laced, lo-fi electro-pop. These songs shift and twist: So Many Times, So Many Ways fuses delicate jazz bass and percussion with muted synths, while Lie Near is possibly the closest the album gets to post-dubstep – a hypnotic half-time beat with reverb-drenched synths and distant saxophone, it is beautiful and involving.
Sullen Ground is at once the simplest and strangest track on the album, its rhythmic DNA built from sampled knocks on wood, filtered static and angular, minimal house beats, while Campos again drifting in and out. It's characteristic of the album's bold, pioneering approach to sonic architecture. A step away from the dancefloor, and into the unknown – this is an important, enchanting LP for 2013. Imaginitive to the point that it's quite impossible to classify. [Bram E. Gieben]