Mount Kimbie take the reigns of the DJ-kicks series with a 23 track mix that includes one of their own new exclusives. Due for release on 28th September, it’s a snapshot of exactly what the UK duo sound like in the club right now and is accompanied by a DJ-kicks tour that takes the pair to DJ and live dates all round the world.
2018 marks a decade since Kai Campos and Dominic Maker first hooked up and started making music. In the early years they refashioned dubstep into innovative new forms that drew on ambient, garage and electronica. After a critically acclaimed debut album on Hotflush, they signed to Warp Records and have consolidated their position at the forefront of the international electronic scene with two critically acclaimed albums and countless world live tours.
Their DJ and radio sets have also developed a formidable reputation throughout this period. They have offered a glimpse into the duo’s varied influences and avant-garde tastes from across all forms of electronic music, while further revealing a harder, club-focused sound that was explored with their hit single ‘Made To Stray’—which was accompanied a DJ Koze remix—followed by ‘Bells’ on Koze’s Pampa compilation series.
After sophomore album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth came Love What Survives in September last year, a long player that felt more like the work of a live band than a studio partnership. It featured collaborations with friend James Blake and a star turn from King Krule while offering rhythm-driven grooves inspired by kraut, motorik and post-punk. It fizzed and buzzed with an effervescence that was a world away from their debut and, in fact, quite different to their entry into the DJ-kicks series.
This is a mix inspired by a mini-run of DJ gigs that Mount Kimbie played with Actress. “It was an interesting and challenging experience, and I learnt a lot on the six dates we did,” says Kai, who explains that plenty of the tracks he was playing during those gigs make it into the mix. They make it a forward looking affair that calls on music the band have discovered recently; music they have found inspiring. Their own ‘DJ-kicks’ track was made specially for the mix and was initially influenced by Stanislav Tolkachev and Alexis Perala, who are both also included. Rather than a painstaking plan or meticulous studio approach, this session captures the improvised energy of a real DJ mix, but one where each track is given time to breath and make an impact rather than one where DJ trickery is at the fore.
The result is a succinct 50 minutes that often goes deep, with roughhewn drums and grainy atmospheres from the likes of Terrence Dixon, Severed Heads, Marco Bernardi and Object Blue. It perfectly knits together stripped back rhythms, percussive tracks and more harmonic techno while seamlessly joining the dots between the old and the new. It’s a well balanced mix that stays low and heady, and that sense of focussed tension is what makes it so utterly compelling throughout.
This DJ-kicks is a welcome window into the very current musical world of Mount Kimbie.