XOYO, Old Street
Much has been made about Mount Kimbie’s are-they-aren’t-they relationship with dubstep, and tonight’s show doesn’t unearth any new evidence, offering a blend of sped-up vocals and moody field recordings (very dubstep) alongside live instrumentation and moments of spiralling aural bliss (very not). Not that it really matters: one opinion that is generally accepted about the Peckham duo is that ‘Crooks & Lovers’, their first album, is a fine piece of work.
Pleasingly, they draw largely from it tonight, but abandon the traditional idea of playing entire tracks for a more painterly, impressionistic approach, cutting and splicing the record’s rich palette of sounds together to create a subtle and stubbornly idiosyncratic show. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a pair whose sound was developed in bedrooms rather than live venues, tonight’s stagecraft extends no further than mumbled thanks (between tracks) and politely nodding heads (during), but again it doesn’t really matter: Mount Kimbie is not a band you stand and watch, and one awkwardly diffident vocal aside, their performance offers no attempt at a visual focal point. Instead, prodding at samplers or diligently stroking guitars, they opt to be quietly industrious, and the outcome is arresting, serpentine and pleasingly unclassifiable stuff.
By Sam Walton
Originally published in issue 22 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. October 2010