Post-dubstep: the contemporary term for the fusion of R&B and ambient electronica, as defined by a pair of musical visionaries from the pioneering two-piece band, Mount Kimble. Dominic Maker and Kai Campos, the ‘post-dubstep’ duo, are credited with coining the term, and defining it through their own creations. Upon the release of their debut album, Crooks and Lovers, in 2010, Mount Kimbie was given the opportunity to experiment with their burgeoning sound. When Crooks and Lovers was lauded by critics and audiences alike, Mount Kimbie decided to refine their sound into their short, yet succinct 2013 masterpiece, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth.
Mount Kimbie’s avant-garde style is achieved by their heavy reliance on electronic instruments. The matured sound that the duo attains on Cold Spring is no exception, as it utilizes a maelstrom of drum machines, sequencers, synthesizers and sampler to create walls of ambient, yet precise sounds. The lack of a particular climax on the album gives it a somewhat psychedelic quality, frequently shifting from trance-inducing ambience to intense crescendos. The unpredictable nature of Cold Spring results in a musical experience that does not require a listener’s full attention, but still results in a powerful surge of ecstasy and stupor.
The success of Cold Spring Fault Less Youth was facilitated not only by the artists’ prowess in their trade, but also by their new understanding of the importance of confident vocals. Unlike those heard on their prior release, the vocals of Maker and Campos are now much more confident, illustrating the fact that they have grown to recognize the importance of an undaunted vocalist. While the duo takes turns at stepping up to the mic, they also enlist the help of Archy “King Krule” Marshall, a popular English singer/songwriter. The seasoned vocalist is featured on two of Mount Kimbie’s new compositions, such as the smooth, atmospheric “You Took Your Time,” and the tense and hectic “Meter, Pale, Tone.” These two tracks stand out from the others strictly due to Krule’s expertise as he raps and rambles over the electronic background.
Although it can be generalized as an electronic or post-dubstep album, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth employs Mount Kimbie’s expansive range of influences. Their extensive repertoire of influences is distinctly perceptible on the new album, offering a taste of a plethora of styles and genres. By incorporating their influences, the duo of musicians demonstrate their passion for innovation and can create a sound that truly reflects their talents and tastes.
While Cold Spring Fault Less Youth is the product of the ingenious minds of electronica pioneers Maker and Campos, the album fails to offer any memorable singles. The majority of Cold Spring is composed of droning soundscapes and frequently repetitive melodies, with no outstanding themes or tracks. While this may be seen as a detriment to the album’s appeal, many listeners may be attracted to the relaxing ambiance that Mount Kimbie creates. In fact, the album seems to speak to the younger population who are entranced by Mount Kimbie’s one-hundred-and-thirty-beat-per-minute ingenuity. Regardless of its audience, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth creates the perfect atmosphere to sit back and bask in the kaleidoscopic sounds of a band who singlehandedly defines the underground music scene in England today.