Mount Kimbie


Written by Johny Chhetri
26 Monday 26th July 2010

If you haven’t heard by now, Mount Kimbie are hot property. They’ve released brilliant album Crooks & Lovers on Hot Flush recordings and have received many a positive review for their work. 

And there is no doubting those reviews, Crooks & Lovers blends elements of dubstep, hip-hop and garage, which should not work at all, but does somehow, making it even harder to categorise, but who does that nowadays anyway? Besides, it’s possibly one of the most chilled out albums I’ve ever heard.
Things seem to be looking up for this eclectic duo (one half’s from an indie rock background, the other’s not) who met while living in the same student halls, which used to be a mental asylum. They’ve got a tour of America planned, armed with an improved live show and well-received angle, world domination could be just a few decibels away!
Who are you and what do you do in Mount Kimbie?
I’m Dominic. I am 23 years old and I live in Saltdean, near Brighton. I co-produce in Mount Kimbie with my friend Kai.
You two come from different backgrounds, one from an indie background and one from
Yes we do. I was originally into a lot of Indie and Rock music. I then picked up an interest in electronic music, Hip Hop and Grime mainly. When I first met Kai we had both just discovered Dubstep. It was through a shared interest in this that Mount Kimbie came about.
So you guys met in student accommodation that used to be a mental asylum. Was there a certain ambience about the place that helped you guys define your sound?
To be honest, the depressing atmosphere in that place forced us to muck around more than make any serious music. We had a lot of fun making ‘rap’ tracks in that place. I moved into a small flat in Peckham and that is where we really started to find the sound we both wanted to achieve.
Would you prefer to play in more spacious venues like the very trendy Village Underground or less spacious ones like the basement of a bar somewhere in London?
We tend to prefer playing in venues where the audience is nearly on top of us! I think we play better in that environment. However, there is something special about playing in large spaces. Some of the venues we have been fortunate enough to play in have been incredible.
Who or what would you say helped influence that kind of music you make?
So many things. I can only really speak for myself. For me, my personal situation is very important. Where I am living, what I’m doing outside music, what state of mind I’m, are all so influential on what comes out when I sit down to write music. Endless different types of music, films, books. I get influenced very easily. Sometimes it is very difficult to control influence. I find myself imitating other peoples’ work too much, and that is not what I want to achieve with Mount Kimbie.
You play as a live band and mentioned before that you were working on you live performances, which possibly means that you weren’t too happy with them. Was there a certain experience that made you think need to work on it?
We were playing live with the producer James Blake before we started writing our album. When we started writing new material, it was just natural to drop the live set down to just myself and Kai. All of us were so busy it would have been impossible to find the time to practice. We had to work on the live show because there was no live show! We wrote the album whilst formulating the live set.
On a scale of 1 - 10, how much would you say you’ve improved live?
Six, although we improve by one point approximately every two months!
The new album is pretty sweet. You seemed to have blended elements of garage, hip hop and dubstep together really well. How long did you guys spend on making it?
It took us around a year of not much work and then two weeks of serious grind.
What are you hoping to achieve with this album?
I’m happy that we have produced an album that is very honest. It shows a glimpse of some of what we want to achieve with our music. I guess I wanted to release something that would surprise people that had and hadn’t heard of us before.
What kept you going during the making of the album?
No caffeine, it gives both panic attacks, so water instead of coffee. FIFA ‘10 gave us a break from the endless loops, although the soundtrack on there is incredibly irritating.
You’ve got some big festival dates lined up. Are you guys looking forward to them? Do you feel you’re fully prepared?
We are not totally prepared yet, but we will be ready. We have had to learn fast. Neither of us thrives in the spotlight, but we are trying our best, and getting better at being on stage performing!
So what can we hope to see from you in the future?
You will hear more music. We don’t even know yet, so expect anything and everything.
Any parting words of wisdom for our readers?
Always get a baggage ticket when you fly on any airline. Never get the ferry from Holyhead in Wales to Dublin. Listen to James Blake more than you already do and, also, look out for a new producer called Klaus tearing your musical ears apart in the near future. Thanks to Don’t Panic and all who have listened to the album.
Crooks & Lovers is out now on Hotflush Recordings.


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