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Interview

In the midst of a huge world tour, Mount Kimbie take a moment to reflect on Cold Spring Fault Less Youth

By Steven Dermody
mountkimbie

Since taking the so-called post-dubstep scene by storm a few years ago, British composers, producers, and performers Mount Kimbie (who once counted James Blake as an occasional member) have been a force to reckon with. In the midst of the duo’s sizable world tour, and on the tail of May’s Cold Spring Fault Less Youth LP, we caught up with founding member Kai Campos at Seattle’s Decibel Festival to take stock of their current affairs.

On this new album, there is a lot more band-oriented music with proper vocals. What made you decide to go in this direction?

There wasn’t ever a conscious decision to move in any particular direction. We had more space to write and have stuff lying around. More songs were started on traditional band instruments, I guess, but we try to just work with sound that gets us excited in some way—whatever source that may be from.

What have been a few pros and cons by going more “live” with your shows—adding a live drummer, for example?

I would say the only con is that it takes longer for us to soundcheck and break down, and it’s more expensive to travel, but I would like to have more people on stage and I’m sure this will happen at some point. It’s been a liberating experience for us creatively.

Why release the last few records on Warp, as opposed to Hotflush? Your output of material seems a bit busier on Warp, too. Will you still release on Hotflush?

No. Our contract with Hotflush was up until the release of Crooks & Lovers. Our music will be on Warp for the foreseeable future (if they don’t drop us).

How did the show go for you at Decibel? Showbox at the Market is a perfect venue for you guys, it would seem, and the weather was comparable to fine English weather, I’d say. What track really smashed it?

I thought the crowd were great. I was pretty ill and didn’t think I played the best, but hopefully people enjoyed it. We’ve always had a good time there and look forward to going back.

How do you incorporate NI Maschine into your live sets?

It’s used as a basic sampler but can also host VSTIs, so it’s the host for most of our keyboard sounds as well. That versatility is pretty great.

It seems that even post-dubstep, drone, noise producers have been exploring more dancefloor-oriented stuff, dropping a 4/4 kick behind washes and ambience. Do you guys have any interest in making more straightforward “club” music or remixes in the near future? And how do you feel about peers doing so?

There’s plenty of music made for clubs that I find inspiring. On top of that, I’m getting more and more interested in drum machines and the kind of rhythms they lend themselves to. I wouldn’t rule anything out, but to be honest, I really don’t think about what kind of music I’m going to make before I do it—which may mean what comes out doesn’t ever work in that context.