Inviting and innovative
Twin Peaks: Mount Kimbie Interview

Quitting university isn’t always the wisest move, but for Dom Maker and Kai Campos, scrapping their student digs was the first step to becoming Mount Kimbie.

And you know what? It turned out pretty well, seeing as their debut LP, ‘Crooks And Lovers’, is one of the most inviting and innovative electronic records of the last twelve months. But Mount Kimbie’s fate could have been oh so different if they had stuck with Kai’s first choice of band name: “The other name was Vertical Pig, but Dom wouldn’t have it.” “Yeah, it may have done alright, but we’d probably be playing Download festival if we’d used that one,” Dom reasons.

After only two EPs and a debut to be released later this month, there has already been a sizable buzz from the underground music press about Mount Kimbie, and rightly so judging by everything they’ve so far released. ‘Crooks And Lovers’ is a subtly beautiful record which refuses to grow old with repeated listens, full of sharp but organic bursts of the UK electronic scene at its most inventive, such as on ‘Carbonated’, which gives an insight into where the confused UK funky scene should be heading, or ‘Would Know’, which simultaneously evokes the urban sprawl of Burial, the alternative electronics of James Blake (a close friend of the band) and the melodic atmosphere of Tortoise.

When discussing Mount Kimbie, it’s tempting and entirely reasonable to mention dubstep, and indeed the duo share similarities with experimental dub acts like Pangaea, Untold and Bass Clef, but Dom sums up why Mount Kimbie aren’t and never will be just a dubstep outfit: “Whenever I think of Benga or Skream or anyone like that, I imagine them listening to dubstep every hour of the day, without really listening to anything else. I can’t be committed enough to a genre to just make music from that genre.” Kai nods: “I wouldn’t say [‘Crooks And Lovers’] is a dance record, but it’s very heavily influenced by dance music. It’s a reaction against all kinds of things that are going on, not just dubstep.”

But a lack of commitment to one genre equals a healthy commitment to exploring numerous other musical forms, including delicious, echo-laden semi-soundscapes and bassy future-dub bastardisations. But with so many (wonderful) things going on during one album, is there, I ask, a ‘Mount Kimbie sound’? “I think it’s a case of: if it feels like a Mount Kimbie track then it sounds like a Mount Kimbie track,” says Kai. “We became quite conscious of making music in a certain way, and we didn’t want to do the obvious ‘next step’ after the first two EPs. We didn’t want to be shown in a linear fashion.”

With a debut like theirs, there’s absolutely no chance of that.

Words by Tristan Parker
Photos by Phil Sharp


Right Guard Presents: Off Guard Gigs at Bestival 2010
Get up close and personal with Mount Kimbie in the right Guard camper van, including an exclusive off guard performance. HERE and check out more of our coverage at our Off Guard Gigs hub page HERE.



Clash Magazine Issue 52

This article appears in the 52nd issue of Clash Magazine. Pick it up in stores from July 1st.

Find out more about the issue HERE. Subscribe to Clash Magazine HERE.



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