As one in every of post-dubstep’s signature acts, Mount Kimbie had been at all times extra within the publish than the dubstep. On early EPs, they swapped out sub-bass strain for wheezing organs, damaged music bins, and the clatter of tilted pinball machines, and over the intervening 13 years, the UK duo’s sound has remained a transferring goal. First, on 2010’s Crooks & Lovers, they folded in feathery guitar and little curlicues of R&B, channeling a downbeat custom operating again by means of Mo Wax and Boards of Canada. With 2013’s Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, they additional sidelined overt membership aesthetics, fleshing out moody miniatures with slowcore guitar and mumbled vocals. They abruptly feinted into ’80s post-punk with 2017’s Love What Survives, working as soon as once more with King Krule’s Archy Marshall, together with James Blake and Mica Levi, and permitting the British singer’s gloopy, elastic tenor to form the bruised define of their very own synths and guitars. However now, on MK 3.5 Die Reduce / Metropolis Planning, the trail doesn’t simply twist; it forks.
Whereas that is technically album quantity 4, the title means that MK 3.5 might signify a stopgap measure or a detour. It’s, in essence, Mount Kimbie’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Beneath, in that every of the duo’s members will get one disc apiece to run free. Dom Maker, who moved to California some 5 years in the past and shortly started racking up classes with artists like JAY-Z and Travis Scott, delivers a file steeped in R&B and hip-hop and knowledgeable by L.A.’s collaborative spirit. Kai Campos, who remained in London, turns his again on Mount Kimbie’s routine fusion and immerses himself in lo-fi techno purism. Although they share a typical concentrate on temper, it’s putting how huge the gulf between the 2 males’s pursuits is.
Maker’s disc, subtitled Die Cuts, is the extra outgoing of the 2 by a substantial margin. Stitched collectively from musical samples, bits of film dialogue, and classes recorded with buddies and friends like Sampha and Duval Timothy, it performs out like a single, interconnected suite. The prevailing aesthetic descends from neo-soul and derivations of Dilla-esque growth bap, filtered by means of modern bass music’s molten sound design. No sound involves us straight: Drum machines are muffled by means of cheesecloth, keys are reversed and repitched, stray voices are sped up or slowed down. Foreground and background are interchangeable; the whole lot feels smeared right into a suggestive haze.