September 2, 2010
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Mount Kimbie – Crooks & Lovers
After two well received EPs last year, Peckham-based Mount Kimbie finally unleashed their first full length release, Crooks and Lovers, in July. Loosely filed under dubstep, or ambient electronica, neither description does justice to the pair’s highly intelligent and fine-tuned approach to their craft. This album is not only a delightful mix of everything beautiful in modern electronic-based music, but also serves to fully document the less club-orientated end of the genre from the first ten years of the new millennium. Of course, there is a dubstep influence (see tracks Ruby and Would Know), but it is more in the vein of Burial’s downbeat, washed-out style. Carbonated and Before I Move Off both channel the ambient, lo-fi techno of Pantha Du Prince, while the bass line wobble of Blind Night Errand is probably closer in style to a less sawtoothy Mr Oiseau than the Croydon school of arpeggiated speaker-shattery. Even more upbeat pieces, such as the four-to-the-floor Before I Move Off or the 2-step garage-infused Mayor, find space for solitary melancholia, while Adriatic continues on from where Four Tet’s latest foray on to the dancefloor on There is Love in You left off.
In a genre born into the iPod generation of playlists and shuffle, Crooks and Lovers works as that rarest of articles; a seemless, competent album that flows from track to track, not a collection of individual sound bytes designed for immediate impact and lacking in substance. That doesn’t mean that the separate tracks don’t stand up on their own, and, clocking in at just over 35 minutes, the album retains its freshness after multiple listens. Great care has gone in to crafting the tonality of each chord, bleep and beep, and a strong sense of consistency hangs over the fidelity of the record as a whole. Take a listen to the tracks below, but I urge you to go and buy this for yourself.