London duo Mount Kimbie has spent much of 2013 touring in support of their latest album, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, which was released on Warp Records this May. Often classified as post-dubstep alongside their close friend and collaborator James Blake, Mount Kimbie have expanded upon the strictly electronic sound present in their first release, Crooks & Lovers, to include a more human touch in the form of vocals and live instruments. Though they still produced the entire album on a computer, it’s difficult to tell that there were not actually any live instruments involved in the recording–and as a result, the album translates quite well to the stage.
Mount Kimbie stopped at The Sinclair in Cambridge, Massachusetts this Monday as part of their fall world tour. It was an eclectic lineup: LA producer D33J started off the night with his hazy, R&B-inspired sound, followed by rapper Jonwayne, who quickly won over the audience with his smooth flowing verses and cheeky comments between tracks.
With the help of percussionist Tony Koos, a third member recruited for their live tour, Dominic Maker and Kai Campos of Mount Kimbie took the stage with an impressive lineup of equipment including synthesizers, sequencers, drum machines, a drum set, guitar, keyboard, and bass guitar. The trio swapped places and traded instruments like a game of musical hot potato, an impressive indication of their artistic abilities.
The group played a selection of tracks from both their old and new albums, the highlight of which was new favorite Made To Stray. Despite being largely low-key mood music perfect for relaxing with a pair of headphones, the combination of live and electronic instruments made for a compelling show. Audience members swayed in a dreamlike state or bounced around ecstatically with wide grins on their faces. It was easy to become completely enveloped in the sound, thoughts drifting away to another plane with a twinkling aural backdrop.
Helping to set the mood was a slideshow of abstract images displayed behind the band, nearly identical to their video for Before I Move Off. Airports, city streets, restaurants, parties, food, friends laughing–the kind of tilted, unfocused snapshots that flit through your mind the hungover morning after a night of adventure with friends. The nostalgic and sentimental visuals perfectly complemented Mount Kimbie’s music and made for a poignant audio-visual experience.
Already superior in album form, Mount Kimbie’s impressive live performance gave both their old and new tracks vibrant life on stage. They successfully showcased the versatility of their music and the breadth of their artistic talent, and they left the crowd satisfied and glowing with positive vibes–a resounding success.
Photos: Guarionex Rodriguez, Jr.