- Melodic Distraction
- Abandon Silence
For the sake of posterity, Chic top-the-bill of this year’s eye-popping Liverpool Music Week programme – but for this writer, it’s perennially inventive electronic duo MOUNT KIMBIE who are the marquee draw. Proving to be one of the more durable acts of the last decade, Dominic Maker and Kai Campos have transcended their post-dubstep origins to find themselves appropriated by Chance The Rapper and Justin Bieber. Their mass appeal and credibility is such that they were able to draft in heavyweight collaborations on new album Love What Survives, which features sizeable contributions from the likes of King Krule, Micachu and James Blake.
It is to be expected, then, that Mount Kimbie would be equally in-demand this evening. Having arrived unfashionably early to a largely empty Wind Factory and after a cursory glance online, it quickly becomes apparent the band have ambitiously double-booked tonight’s proceedings – with an early evening performance at London’s cultural monolith Tate Modern taking precedent. I try not to be consumed by provincial Northern envy as MELODIC DISTRACTION and ABANDON SILENCE appease the growing crowds with a palatable track list of beats and bangers.
The duo’s Transatlantic split might go someway to explain the decision to accommodate both bookings. In 2016, Dominic Maker moved to Los Angeles with his compadre Kai Campos opting to remain in the capital. While this juncture hasn’t had an overt effect on the creative output of the partnership – the new album has been met with the usual broad acclaim – it inevitably has implications on the unrelenting practicalities of their touring schedule. Thankfully, the main event take to the stage before 3am and while there’s still some gas in the tank.
The intimate, Tiny Desk-style concerts that characterised the duo’s Crooks And Lovers inception have been dramatically overhauled with a more performance-focused setup that sees the band flanked by a pair of session musicians, on drums and keys. New tracks like Four Years and One Day further demonstrate the act’s progression with less emphasis on the button-mashing minutia of drips and blips, in favour of a more hands-on, live orientated approach. There’s a churning, motorik feel to the new material, though at some point, this begins to feel somewhat laboured. I can’t help thinking the earlier performance should have been swerved to give Liverpool Music Week the show it deserved.