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Interview: Mount Kimbie

Mount Kimbie Interview

Four years after the release of their second album, the electronic duo Mount Kimbie has exploded back onto the UK music scene, with their new release Love What Survives and a string of sold out shows. Kai Campos, one half of the duo, speaks to Epigram about this exciting new period for the band.

Confessing to a to ‘a little bit of time sort of dossing around doing nothing’, the pair have marked the end of their time off with their highly anticipated follow up to 2013’s Cold Spring Fault Less Youth. Although comparisons between their first two albums are ubiquitous, Mount Kimbie rejects the link between the different works. Kai says: ‘As much as possible we try not to think about the other two, not because we dislike them but to feel motivated when writing I have to think about it like the first time. So I’m trying to not think about it in comparison to the first two really.’ Despite the desired separation between the albums in terms of their composition, Kai reveals that the principle behind making the music is always the same. ‘It’s always the same motivation, which is to like paint some part of your head which you can’t describe in any other way. That’s what it sounds like in my head right now’.

After a few relatively quiet few years for the band, the coming months are set to be a more hectic experience. ‘We’re going to Europe. It’s pretty full on for the five weeks, well it’s pretty full on in general for the next twelve months it’s just broken up a bit.’ Although the constant touring is set to be a very full on period for Mount Kimbie, Kai states it is one of the most interesting parts of the job. ‘Going out and performing these songs is such a different experience to writing and recording it. For some reason it’s the only time you get to here it in sort of an objective way. You get to hear it how other people hear it because you’re sharing the atmosphere with it with so many other people. This bit is really, really exciting and interesting. We’re still learning, that’s what’s so exciting about it. We haven’t figured out how to do it to it’s full potential yet and I think you figure that out a long the way. Maybe two years in you get to a point where you’re doing it as well as you can do it in the way you’re currently doing it and that’s when it’s time to stop and do something else really’.

Their newest album, Love What Survives, is filled with collaborations with different vocalists, an interesting change from their usual intricate instrumentalism. Although they set out to not to include of a lot of vocals on the album, they ended up doing the opposite. Kai says ‘we were writing songs that felt like they had that space in them and we were sharing the ideas with these people, all the people that we did vocals with were having a period of writing themselves. We were sharing ideas and a lot of those ideas ended up working really well.

The main artist the band has collaborated with on their new album is Archy Marshall aka King Krule. This is a long-standing relationship, with Marshall having worked with the band on their 2013 track, ‘You Took Your Time’. ‘Yeah, we worked a lot with Archy’, says Kai. “He’s just one of the people, when I have new stuff going on and I’m excited about it, he’s one of the first people that I show it to. And when he’s really excited about it as well, it makes me pumped about it.’

Discussing the nature of music streaming, Kai professes his love of discovering new artists through radio. ‘I like to put the radio on the morning. I like the freedom of what you’re about to listen to be taken away from you. I think a big problem that we have now is the lack of being exposed to stuff that you wouldn’t have put on anyway. I listen to a lot of radio for that and the experience of not liking something. Sometimes that just as interesting as listening to something that you do like. I tend to get obsessive with a certain album or artist for a while.’

Originally publisheed in Epigram.

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