Mount Kimbie, the British electronic duo, released their first album in 2010, and it was highly lauded by critics. So it would be easy to come back with your second full-length release and go for a similar sound, hoping for similar results, right? Of course, music would be boring if everyone just stuck to the same proven formula. The best artists know how to toe the line between familiarity and innovation, and that’s just what Mount Kimbie does with their latest release, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth. What else would you expect from the production duo that played part in introducing a sound so novel that a new sub-genre (post-dubstep) had to be named to describe it?
Cold Spring Fault Less Youth carries along the same basic electronic components that you could pick up on in previous Mount Kimbie releases, but beneath the surface is a sound with a texture all its own. The drums feel less upbeat than Crooks & Lovers and the mood feels spacier. While the focus of the music is on the instrumentals, a number of tracks are complemented by vocals, including two tracks that feature King Krule. The vocals don’t take a backseat either, playing integral parts in some of the standout tracks such as “Home Recording” and “Made to Stray”. In all honesty, there isn’t a genre in the lexicon that can truly explain the category that this music falls under. Just listen and enjoy it.
The work behind the album was done entirely on a computer. Yet somehow, the digitized sampling and synthesizing on Cold Spring Fault Less Youth results in a sound that is much more organic than many albums with live instrumentation. You would be hard-pressed to notice that this was all produced on a computer if you didn’t have access to that knowledge beforehand. You can practically feel the realness of a breathing soul beating along on the drums. Mount Kimbie experiments with sounds that many artists would stay away from, and in turn they create something fresh. “Slow” is anything but what the title would suggest. It’s an electronic embodiment of all the sounds that make music a thrill, making you want to move along to the glacious beat.
Mount Kimbie is not a place on Earth but rather a place in your mind. Cold Spring Fault Less Youth is an invitation to take an adventure to that place and discover the clairvoyant sights and sounds. This isn’t for fans of electronic, dubstep, post-dubstep, garage, or hip-hop music, but rather music in general. We’re getting to a point where it’s really hard to categorize artists under certain labels, and at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter. Genres are good, descriptive terms to give a general idea of how something will sound, but as long as artists keep innovating, there won’t be enough terms to identify the music. The only way you can truly know what it is like is to experience it for yourself. I hope artists like Mount Kimbie continue to expand the barriers on ways to make good music.