MOUNT KIMBIE: “You have to hope that you will stay consistently passionate”
2013 is obviously coming to its end. Everybody takes a look back on the year’s best moments and so we do. One of those is definitely the second album of british electronica producers MOUNT KIMBIE. We already fell in love with their really special kind of analogue warmness and that fresh sound when they released Cold Spring Fault Less Youth earlier this year. Since then we payed close attention to their work. Last week NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION finally had the chance to catch them at the oncoming end of their tour and asked them a few things about their way of making music, planning collaborations and playing shows. Read our interview Kai Campos and Dom Maker of MOUNT KIMBIE right here.
Hey, for tonight you brought newcomer SEAMS, Leipzig brought its finest, the guys from DOUMEN RECORDS. Since you played a show already with them, here at Conne Island in 2011, what can we expect for tonight?
Dom: What we expect is a really good show and that a lot of people are coming.
Kai: We had a good time when we played here last time. It was the best show, of our German tour back then.
Especially your new album brings that really warm and analogue sound on a kind of music that’s usually really synthetic, because it’s made on a computer. Since the opener of your new album “Cold Spring Fault Less Youth” is also called “Home Recording”, please tell us a bit about your producing workflow.
Kai: I mean that was kind of a joke, since we actually really went into a studio, this time was quite different. But at the end of it, I found gor me it was good to go like nine o’clock in the morning and leaving at six or seven. So trying to go everyday and doing some stuff everyday.
How do you capture your first ideas? I mean you use guitars and vocals, how do you capture this? You sit at home and write classical on a guitar and record it quickly on a field recorder or do you always work on a computer? Do you share these kind of drafts among each other?
Kai: This time a little bit more is written on a bass guitar, more than on an electric guitar. I think it’s really nice to write on a bass guitar, because bass is usually for everything else, if you play something on a bass guitar there are so much possibilities. Yeah, but mostly I just write on a keyboard.
Dom: We both share that studio, so we’d come in, but first we spent much time together. And when we did, we showed each other what we already made. Then we sat together and worked out where the songs are going. But the original ideas were based on individual work.
Another of these so called humanized aspects in your music, is of course the bigger amount of vocals this time. Next to your own, sung by Kai, there’s this really nice feature with KING KRULE. Or Archie, or ZOO KID or however you call him.
Dom: (laughs) Yes he’s a man with many names I guess. And there’s another one as well, um, Edgar the Beatmaker. Oh and DJ JD Sports. But I believe his real name is Archie, that’s what he told us.
How did you met him?
Dom: We heard his music, and then we went to a concert he was doing in South London, We went there and it was a really good concert so we got in touch with him. He came to our studio and had a listen to all that stuff we were doing, he was releasing his own album at the time. We went through and had those two tracks in particular mind and he laid down his vocals on it. He got involved a lot more, cause when we approached the whole idea of working with someone else, we wanted it to be a true kind of collaboration and not as supposed just the voice on top. We want him really to get involved in the writing and the kind direction of the songs and he really put a lot of input into that two tracks, which is nice.
Could we expect another collaboration of this kind?
Dom: With him? Definitely!
Kai: I dont’ know what actually describes a hip hop tune.
Dom: It’s got definitely a hip hop flow. Initially we tried to find a little bit extra in that loop. We couldn’t find and we nearly wanted to scrap that idea, but then a few people we should pursue this. And when Archie came in he really went to a other place than had went to. So we are really happy with the results that came out of it.
I’m asking because right now, you can watch a lot of similar collaborations, where post dub step and other electronic music meets hip hop or rap. So it’s a bit like it’s going to kind of deconstruct itself back to it’s roots. For example your friend JAMES BLAKE did also a collaboration with CHANCE THE RAPPER, did you hear it?
Kai: Yeah we’ve heard it. I don’t know how much us and James really do dubstep anymore.
Dom: I mean James, he still incorporates the components of dubstep. You know, using a lot of bass and very minimal percussion. But us, for example, with our last record, I think it’s definitely further away than it ever was.
Since such questions about genre and style are probably the most annoying ones, how would you describe your own music to …let’s say your parents-in-law?
Dom: I just would say electronic music. And then I would them have listen to and listen what they think. I remember my girlfriend’s dad, the first he said was “What the fuck is this”. (laughs)
Does electronic music has a braoder appearance and base in the UK? If you talk about electronic music Germany, the average citizen often still has techno music in mind.
Dom: It’s just that a lot of attention is paid to people who sounds different. And a lot oft people trying to that all the time. If we got to Germany and we go to a place where they play techno it just feels like there is something magical is going on and get that less when I go out in general in London ot in the UK. It just feels like there’s not enough time for a kind of history to be established, because people are constantly trying to progress, that’s what I think.
Did you already visit a real techno club in Germany, as guests?
Dom: Well we went to Berghain, also as guests and we played there a couple of times. We did one show that was on a proper club night on the weekend, and we got booed for bring out the guitar on stage. Really terrifying. (laughs) But then the second time was a kind of midweek thing and that night was awesome.
Another thing is that really interesting kind remix work you did for other bands, as well as the artists who remixed you. I only was wondering about those of You Took Your Time (that KING KRULE track) because two of three completely missed the vocals. You didn’t pass the vocal tracks to them?
Dom: (laughs) Yeah to be honest, I was surprised as well. But in a good way, I really like all of them, they’re all brilliant. Also the DJ KOZE one of Made To Stray is fucking awesome.
Kai: (laughs) We did a radio interview this morning and the guy, he cut it out for the best part. It’s quite a long track and he just fade it down just before it build up to the final part with the vocals.
What was the most interesting remix work you did?
Kai: The UNTOLD One, I think.
Dom: Yes we made a remix for LV AND UNTOLD for track called Beacon. That was awesome.
Kai: And the other stuff was interesting as well, working with bands like FOALS, and tracks with vocals. That’s always a good opportunity to try something different.
Ok, let’s come to our final question, what means hope and passion to you?
Kai: I think in this kind of work, you have to hope that you will stay consistently passionate. Because that’s the reason for going this way and making music and sometimes that’s not easy. But I think the more you get involved in this, the more rewarding is it when you do it, just finding yourself being very passionate about that all.