Transition and progression are two attributes that Mount Kimbie have embraced with arms open wide on ‘Love What Survives’. Produced mostly on two vintage synths; a Korg MS-20 and Korg Delta, the crisp production of their previous album ‘Cold Spring Fault Less Youth’ has been traded in for a retro-fuelled fuzzy haze of post-punk basslines reminiscent of Joy Division. ‘Four Years and One Day’ sounds as though a spacecraft has landed, as the synths waver, building tension as the track unfurls with urgency.
Heavily influenced by the electronic duo’s extracurriculars (their transatlantic residency show on NTS earlier this year and their guests’ guitar-led sounds), the record drafts in a number of their friends from the shows — King Krule, James Blake, Micachu, and Warpaint, showcasing their penchant for bold collaborations. The lyrical prowess of Archy Marshall’s raspy delivery propels ‘Blue Train Lines’s dystopia as he growls: “I guess it’s been eating away, when I found her, all drowned in grey, I might have drowned her.” Contrasting light with darkness is a theme that’s laced throughout the album — ‘Marylin’ is of an alternative reality; as softly subdued keys cascade and intertwine, trickling over one another. It’s highly romantic, blissful and intimate, offering some of the most tentative examples of electronica we’ve heard this year.
Full of a plethora of textured soundscapes, the (extended beyond average) interludes such as ‘SP12’ and ‘Poison’, take you on a sonic journey not once forgetting to appreciate instrumental sounds such as foreboding digitalised bleeps. On each listen ‘Love What Survives’ is a record full of raw honesty, both musically and artistically, and is worth your undivided attention.
Words: Lois Browne
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