Mount Kimbie's minimalist post-dub disappoints in person

    Managing to be simultaneously underwhelming and over-the-top, minimalist post-dub duo Mount Kimbie performed a lukewarm set to a Tuesday night crowd at Lincoln Hall.

    On tour to support the release of their second album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, the South London-based duo comprised of Kai Campos and Dom Maker, opened their set against a backdrop of strange archival footage, disposal photographs and Japanese schoolgirl selfies. An interesting juxtaposition to their futuristic, soundboard-heavy repertoire, it elicited a strange sense of nostalgia, almost as if a space-traveling audience was reminiscing on a washed out, Kodachrome past – a little too post-modern for a crowd that murmured in confusion over the backdrop for a good portion of the show.

    The music itself was also disappointing in comparison to the flawless production of their studio release, as most of the songs they played off of Cold Spring Fault Less Youth consisted of sluggish, heavy synths and a series of misplaced backbeats.

    The off-time vocals and extra clicks indicated a slightly sloppy performance, and when the highlight of the night is the pre-recorded vocals of the gravel-voiced King Krule, you know that there’s something a little off-sync about the performance as a whole. Especially when Archy Marshall’s replacement on “You Took Your Time” ended up being Jonwayne, the unenthused rapper who opened the show, stood in one spot and read stilted lyrics off of his phone.

    However, slow-burners like “Meter, Pale, Tone” and “Made To Stray” (the build-up comprising the first three-fourths of the song) were executed well. Rewarding listeners for their patience with a warm, all-enveloping mess of samplers and sequencers, Mount Kimbie did play a fair amount of songs that hit all the right notes.

    One thing you couldn’t blame Campos and Maker for was the fact that they spent much of the show bent over their instruments in intense concentration, which speaks more to the complexity of their music than their lack of stage presence.

    But sometimes that’s just not enough. Filled with eardrum-bursting, heart-thumping bass kicks and over-exaggerated reverb effects, it was an unsatisfying live rendition of a critically-acclaimed album that inspired with its challenging juxtapositions between minimalist dub and all-enveloping dance music. It was an unfortunate performance of their hazy, headbob-inducing tunes, which normally fit right in amongst the works of other Warp Records legends like Aphex Twin and Oneohtrix Point Never. Next time though, just stay at your's and stick to the “Home Recording.”


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