Mount Kimbie: Love What Survives

Photo: Terrorbird Media

Mount Kimbie returns with Love What Survives, introducing post-punk elements to its electronic core, and in the process producing its finest record to date.

Mount Kimbie

Love What Survives

Label: Warp
US Release Date: 2017-09-08
UK Release Date: 2017-09-08

Moving beyond the constraints of dubstep, Mount Kimbie revels in deconstructing the genre. The duo consisting of Dominic Maker and Kai Campos was one of the first acts to dwell in the post-dubstep realm, something that was apparent from their early EP releases, and followed into their debut album Crooks & Lovers.

This deviation from the norm carried down with the evolution of Mount Kimbie, infecting the sound of Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, opening up the music to more adventurous pathways. Standing over the carcass of dubstep, Maker and Campos warp its style with diverse elements, ranging from post-rock, drone and musique concrete, to R&B and hip-hop. And what is exciting about Mount Kimbie's capabilities is the singular focus of incorporating all these aspects without losing its connection to electronic-driven, intelligent music.

The implementation of field recordings does not feature the typical musique concrete fashion, establishing complex, reality-based sceneries. Rather, it is used to in such a way as to become more accessible and easy to handle, building soundscapes that can accommodate the pressurized, mechanical compositions. Similarly, the krautrock element is transformed to work with the duo's mesmerizing tone in accordance with the ethics of electronic music, augmenting the overall experience through their circular progressions and psychedelic extensions. It's an ever-changing path the duo has set out to explore, and its changing gears, from old-school krautrock to over the top synthesizers allow the swift, but always connecting, changes in tonality.

Love What Survives is an interesting title for the album, and even though Mount Kibie is nothing but forward thinking, there is an allure towards sounds and influences of years past. Krautrock is but one example of this mentality, but the most striking augmentation is the post-punk attitude, which finds its way into the structures. “Audition” is the first instance this mentality shines through, presented through bombastic drumming and sharp synthesizers. It is a sound that transcends electronica. By incorporating what has survived, every aspect of music the duo finds interesting and alluring, the record takes a new form influenced by the new wave direction, or by an even heavier alt rock, garage type sound in the monumental “You Look Certain (I'm Not So Sure”), a track that is capable of connecting two very diverse sides into a harmonious meeting.

Remaining on a more restrained, by Mount Kimbie's standard, trip, the duo further morphs its sound to accommodate genre-bending elements towards hip-hop, a genre that holds an allure for the duo, as Maker also co-produced “MaNyfaCedGod” from Jay-Z's new record. In this instance they explore hip-hop alongside long-time collaborator King Krule in the fantastic “Blue Train Lines”, where Everything has its place. In one of the most impressive tracks from the album featuring a driven performance from the duo and the rapper, Mount Kimbie unveils all its experimental aptitude in the process, by using the krautrock spine as the beat and the blinking synths to produce the hooks along the way. On a different note, James Blake, who has previously remixed the duo's “Maybes”, also appears in the new album, with Mount Kimbie masterfully turning this ship around and dive completely into the neo-soul, post-dubstep realm, exploring all the emotional quality of their performance and the underlying sentiments behind music and lyrics.

Looking at the sound and history of Mount Kimbie it feels like this duo is traveling through different dimensions from one record to the next. Despite elements of the previous records having survived in the process, the pair is further opening up its sound, exploring further possibilities that didn't appear on its radar a few years back. The result is such an astounding record, which on one hand exists in the past, while on the other it looks forward into the future. What place will Maker and Campos visit next? No idea, but it is certainly going to be another exciting ride.


To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less

Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

Keep reading... Show less

Barry Lyndon suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) crystalizes a rather nocturnal view of heterosexual, white masculinity that pervades much of Stanley Kubrick's films: after slithering from the primordial slime, we jockey for position in ceaseless turf wars over land, money, and women. Those wielding the largest bone/weapon claim the spoils. Despite our self-delusions about transcending our simian stirrings through our advanced technology and knowledge, we remain mired in our ancestral origins of brute force and domination—brilliantly condensed by Kubrick in one of the most famous cuts in cinematic history: a twirling bone ascends into the air only to cut to a graphic match of a space station. Ancient and modern technology collapse into a common denominator of possession, violence, and war.

Keep reading... Show less

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow shines on her impressive interpretation of Fontella Bass' classic track "Rescue Me".

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow pays tribute to the classic Chicago label Chess Records on her new album Playing Chess, which was produced by Steve Greenberg, Mike Mangini, and the legendary Betty Wright. Unlike many covers records, LeGrow and her team of musicians aimed to make new artistic statements with these songs as they stripped down the arrangements to feature leaner and modern interpretations. The clean and unfussy sound allows LeGrow's superb voice to have more room to roam. Meanwhile, these classic tunes take on new life when shown through LeGrow's lens.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.