Mount Kimbie - KOKO - London - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Mount Kimbie - KOKO - London

by Priscilla Eyles Rating:8 Release Date:2012-08-06

Liverpudlian opening act Forest Swords, aka Matthew Barnes, augmented with a bassist (who adds some extra funkiness to the music), is in danger of stealing the show, impressing the audience with a set of complex, genre-traversing and multi-cultural songs. Sounding experimental, spectral, sci-fi, funky, housey, dubby, cinematic and epic with pounding beats that shook the floor and well-chosen unusual samples (one song sampling what sounded like Chinese folk music), they really got to your core with unexpected turns that got the audience moving. They are definitely worth looking out for and hopefully, if there’s any justice, they're headed for better recognition.


Barnes’ music is truly unique and interesting and he provides a powerful, engaging live experience, complete with interesting black-and-white, solarised footage of dancers which add to the otherworldly atmosphere created by the music. Extra kudos to Mount Kimbie for their discerning taste. Though they really have to get a better sound engineer, as the mix was unbalanced and too loud which did an injustice to the music.


When Mount Kimbie, aka Dom Maker and Kai Campos, take to the stage. They start off with ‘Home Recording’ off their most recent album, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, which is a relatively slow number sung by Dom - so not the most dancey. But they then immediately pick things up with the crowd-pleasing and sublime ‘Before I Move Off’ from Crooks & Lovers, which is given a live remix including an extended guitar intro, a new spaciousness with some added reverb, and extra cut up beats which get a good reaction. They seem charmingly humbled that "so many people" have come to see them at this sold-out gig, and genuinely excited onstage, nodding their heads vigorously over their various midi-controllers and drum-pads.


Songs like the Bonobo–esque ‘So Many Times, So Many Ways’, with its fore-grounded walking bassline played with skill by Kai, are pleasant to gently nod your head to, but the crowd erupts when King Krule comes on to swaggeringly rap on the brilliant, mid-tempo ‘You Took Your Time’, which gains an anthemic air live. Momentum builds as King Krule raps, with an eyes-closed intensity, the dark lyrics of violence and "black beat brains beaten out".


For their encore they make KOKO seem more like a club on a Friday night at 2am with one of the highlights of Cold Spring, ‘Break Well’. The beauty of its Vangelis-like, sci-fi synth-line is well highlighted. Meanwhile, ‘Mayor’ sounds as fresh as it ever did with its pulsating rhythms, staccato vocal samples, bouncy, melodic layers, and crashing cymbals (Dom thrashs drum sticks on a pad furiously). ‘Made to Stray’ is probably their most out-and-out rave number, rather like Simian Mobile Disco or Cut Copy with it’s madly convoluting melody line and crisp accelerating  beats, which translates into a very ecstatic and grateful crowd going mad.


Mount Kimbie, I must say, do best on the songs where they don’t sing much or sound like an electronic act trying to be a rock band. There are some nice guitar solos and their singing voices are decent enough, especially Dom’s, but what they do best, and what the crowd responds to the most, is those complex, off-kilter and staggered beats, skilfully manipulated cut-up vocal samples, and awesome layering and sense of build-up. They had the crowd in the palm of their hands by the end with just those elements, creating an epic sound for just two guys, and making this a night well-spent.

Comments (8)

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I think only Sonny Rollins is still alive of the old guard

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Seems to be. It's sad. I've only started really getting into jazz recently as well.

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Yeah ? Check out the Ahmad Jamal/Yusef Lateef album Live At The Olympia recently released. Amazing piano jazz. a little edgy but mostly conventional.

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Cool, thanks for the tip!

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I've shared an item with you in GD

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Google Drive

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Hey Rob, can you drop me an email and tell me how to access it please?

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