Mount Kimbie played to a sold-out Glasgow Art School last night, or Halloween Eve as it’s known to no-one anywhere. The electronic duo have been producing their way through the UK music scene, collaborating with fellow NME indie darlings such as King Krule and James Blake. Like all electronic acts, they’ve sampled and been sampled, they’ve remixed and been remixed. Possibly the most notable example being their remix of The XX’s Basic Space.
Love What Survives was released earlier in the year, and the album provided much of the night’s soundtrack. It’s full on rhythm, with snares and cymbals popping and snapping through the big, creeping swells of the unsettling tones that could be heard from the likes of These Hidden Hands or Karen Deijer Andersson (Fever Ray, The Knife) at her darker moments.
What makes Mount Kimbie stand out live is the attention to fills and basslines that give them the sound of bands from the shadowy, gothic space of the 70s and 80s. Simon Gallup of The Cure or Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order are seemingly summoned up out of nowhere to provide bass on some tracks.
Feedback, or at least an impression of feedback along with the chorus effect bass goes further in giving the impression of bigger rhythm sections than what isn’t actually there. Amongst all this precise twitching and detailed production, there is enough of a hook to everything they do which allows anyone access to their songs, like a digitised Can. Marilyn being the best example.
Special mention too, to Kelly Lee Owens in support, who battered her way through a set that saw her add more bounce to her tracks to help get the crowd up. Were she to get her own gig on a weekend night, you can guarantee the crowd wouldn’t be home until daylight the following day.
Additional band members on stage and the use of live instruments undoubtedly bring Mount Kimbie up a level and also open up their options for future venues and shows. They would be just as comfortable providing a Boiler Room set as they would be onstage, as they were last night, at a great midsize venue like the Art School.
Should Aphex Twin or Jamie xx ever call it a day then Mount Kimbie wouldn’t replace them but they would certainly provide a fitting requiem for that glitchy electronic procession that would ring out the sound of crying, dying keyboards.
Review by Luke Hawkins