San Francisco's Independent played host to touring British acts Mount Kimbie and Holy Other this Tuesday. London's Mount Kimbie (Dominic Maker and Kai Campos) is touring behind their recently released Cold Spring Fault Less Youth album. While the album faired well with critics, it seemed under appreciated, possibly in part due to the attention vacuums of Random Access Memories and Yeezus it emerged between. Additionally, I've found Cold Spring Fault Less Youth is a subtle album, with the replay value emerging with each additional spin I find the time for.
San Francisco apparently agreed with the positive Cold Spring reception, selling out the show early and leaving a handful of ticket hunters outside. While Holy Other deserves credit here and put on a solid set, it seems safe to say 'cisco turned out mostly for Mount Kimbie. Holy Other's performance was excellent, yet the minimal stage aesthetics & low lighting coupled with people devoting most of their attention to getting their drink on made for a set that seemed more like a prelude bordering on background music. This seems fairly consistent with the producer's shadowy persona and evasion of spreading his real name. Nonetheless, no blame on Holy Other, as the actual tunes were on point.
Juxtaposed against the minimal Holy Other vibes, Mount Kimbie's set began with eager applause and an attentive crowd. While my understanding is that Cold Spring arrived nearly entirely via computer production, they stacked the stage with an array of both digital and traditional instruments, as well as a touring drummer on kit. Fleshed out in the live setting, the album's nuanced and complexities took on new life that I would not have appreciated simply from the record. Dominic and Kai hopped around between synths, live percussion and triggers quite effortlessly. But the detail of the record came through while also shifting the crowd into dance drive. Their set brought out hints of Bonobo's live groove, the gut-pleasing tones of Gold Panda, the emotion of James Blake while showcasing Mount Kimbie's own breed of electronica. As a fan of this genre, I'm happy to add Cold Spring Fault Less Youth to the catalog of records I'll return to.