Mount Kimbie Love What Survives Warp
After emerging as one of the brighter lights in the embryonic post-dubstep landscape, Mount Kimbie (in a trajectory which closely mirrors that of kindred spirits Darkstar) signed to Warp, went a bit prog, and, to be honest, lost a bit of their edge. It wasn’t the pastoral/avant-garde turn that was problematic – this kind of leap has been the making of many acts. But where Mount Kimbie’s seminal debut album Crooks and Lovers felt vibrant, weightless and unaffected, 2013’s follow-up Cold Spring Fault Less Youth felt flat in comparison. But their third offering Love What Survives has recaptured the deftness of their debut while retaining the more experimental tropes of Cold Spring Fault Less Youth.
The energy and emotional intensity is back from the first track with low-slung guitars and a motorik rhythm, which blends into a raw vocal performance from long-time collaborator King Krule on lead single Blue Train Lines. Vocal collaborators are plentiful, in fact. Both Micachu and James Blake feature, with Blake lending his distinctive falsetto to two tracks. The first – the playfully psychedelic We Go Home Together – gives Blake a wobbly platform to soar over, and is up there with the best of his own material. Towards the album’s conclusion, Delta – again with a motorik nod – provides a rush of adrenaline, before the beautifully constructed T.A.M.E.D unfolds in a whirl of understated romanticism. Sure, the bar may have been set lower this time, but there’s no question that Love What Survives reinstates Mount Kimbie’s reputation as credible musical innovators.