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  • Filed under: Review
  • 10/30/2013

Mount Kimbie CSFLY Remixes

Considering the critical hosannas that met the duo's first album, Crooks and Lovers, the reception for Mount Kimbie's second album has been a bit lukewarm. These CSFLY Remixes seem almost like a corrective, recruiting three purposely of-the-moment remixers—Detroit's hyped MPC mangler Kyle Hall, Hamburg's evergreen DJ Koze, and crushworthy reshaper Lee Gamble—to put any doubts about the pair's relevance to bed. This EP doesn't fully succeed in this regard, and is more interesting for this shortcoming. Granted, nothing in particular was wrong with Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, which neither stagnated nor pushed into uncomfortable territory outside of the group's wheelhouse; the LP was essentially another installment of Mount Kimbie's sweet, quotidian, yet rhythmically involved contribution to the mournful side of UK bass. This EP is guilty of overreaching in a way the album wasn't, but it's not without its delights.

Kyle Hall and Lee Gamble both take on the album's most ambivalent cut, "You Took Your Time." With a guest turn from UK crooner King Krule, the original was somewhat soppy and overwrought, but Hall and Gamble both sidestep the song's drippy vocals. It's a wise decision, and yet, without Krule, the remixes seem hollow, as they showcase none of Mount Kimbie's talent for desktop polyrhythms and affecting melody. Hall goes for a purplish boogie of grainy hi-hats and synth-envelope tweaks that come off like he's making do with rather than making the most of his source material. Gamble puts those components through a kind of homeopathic ringer, where only the memory remains, and yet it feels overcautious and lacking in a direction. DJ Koze, as per usual, wins the prize for both inventiveness and fidelity to the original, deferring the vocals of "Made to Stray" for a delicious five minutes of off-the-grid deep-house tweaks before dropping into the hook with a seismic sense of relief. The most and least that can be said of this EP is that it should send us back to Cold Spring Fault Less Youth with less hype-jaundiced ears.

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