Is it just us or do Hidden Agenda seem to pull it out of the bag every time? The unusually late running order of the homegrown collective’s nights at The Button Factory means that an entire night’s entertainment works out as an absolute bargain. It also helped to ensure that the audience at The Button Factory were suitably loose when Mount Kimbie took to the stage last Saturday.
Since their formation in 2008, Dominic Maker and Kai Campos from Brighton and Cornwall respectively, have cemented their reputation as leading lights in the post-dubstep posse along with their sometimes collaborator, James Blake. Despite being just a couple of albums into their career, Mount Kimbie have amassed a loyal band of followers thanks to their extensive touring duties and unorthodox sound. The Button Factory crowd was a tapestry of hardcore fans and a smattering of casual Saturday night heroes. A quick scan of the room revealed Mount Kimbie’s genre-bending crossover appeal in action – however, the room was united in a mass fizz of anticipation as we waited for the boys to take to the stage.
Midnight had been and gone when the band sauntered on stage, the two-piece core having swelled to a trio as percussionist Tony Koos joins them on this tour to flesh out the live sound. The welcome they received from the audience was rapturous, like old friends sorely missed. This show was Mount Kimbie’s first headline performance in Ireland since 2010. Their unscheduled slot as the secret act to close the Body & Soul Arena at this year’s Electric Picnic saw them do a great job of placating and satisfying a crowd who were all hopped up on rumors of James Murphy and Daft Punk. The buzz has spread far and wide as Saturday’s sold-out show confirmed.
It was straight down to business, all furrowed brows and deep concentration. The stage was a hive of industry, with Maker and Campos switching from station to station to recreate their signature glitchy oddities, electronic beats and mellower ambient moments. Older favourites like the stilted, joyful chug of Carbonated whipped the crowd into a sea of flailing limbs and elated faces. Kai’s well controlled vocals proved to be one of their greatest assets, adding textures and life to otherwise otherworldly compositions. It soon became clear that the show would be a healthy mix of old and new. Lo-fi soundscapes built to a high-octane throw downs with crowd favourite, Made to Stray acting as a worthy centre-piece.
The newer material was full of interesting surprise progressions, with songs such as Break Well descending into unexpected indie breakdowns. The ominous march of Blood and Form sounded massive. The tracks they performed from ‘Cold Spring Fault Less Youth’ balanced shades of light with dubby darkness. This translated to stage as a journey which was emphasised by the accompanying visual compilation of snapshots of lives, echoing their video for Before I Move Off.
Mount Kimbie left us sweaty, spent and overwhelmed but we couldn’t have asked for a better time.