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Mount Kimbie – Carbonated review

Being the most accessible and fully formed track from Mount Kimbie’s debut LP Crooks and Lovers, “Carbonated” is an obvious choice for release on an EP. With its breathy sidechained intro, understated organ tones and R&B vocal, it has already found its way into the hearts of many. Utilising a formula that is fast being used by a multitude of other producers, it would have been easy to go down the safe road and get some big name producers working in a similar field to remix the track into more dancefloor friendly versions. Wisely Hotflush have taken the more interesting route and grouped it with some of the most avant-garde remixes they’ve ever released.

The unreleased tracks from Mount Kimbie themselves on the EP also reflect this; “Flux” actually begins as a more ambient number but unexpectedly erupts into life with an 808 cowbell, leading into a sea of cut-up vocals, whilst “Bave’s Chords” is like classic Four Tet, utilising an eastern string sample to great effect. However, it’s the remixes that really surprise. Klaus remixes album cut “Adriatic”; seemingly none of the original’s folky groove remains, with the recent R&S signee turning the track into an ominous, expansive wasteland with a lurching beat and monstrously pitched down vocal samples. It’s curiously like one of those pop tracks slowed down by about 3000 per cent; the structure and feel of dubstep is there, somewhere, but stretched out to infinity.

Airhead, a member of James Blake’s touring band, creates a similarly eerie take on “Carbonated”, taking the intro and extending it to the point of breaking before it explodes into a brief blast of guitar fuzz. It maintains the same kind of rhythm as the original, albeit stripped right back, but the inclusion of guitar creates a musical result more resembling the kind of music coming out of Bristol in the mid-90s than anything else being produced now.

The final remix of “Carbonated” comes from Peter van Hoesen, who again leaves very little of the original, creating a remix that seems to be more inspired by, as opposed to being a reworking of the track itself. As such, it is better judged on its own merits; percussively it treads a fine line between a 4/4 techno beat and something more shuffling, as it weaves its way around a snarling bassline whilst giving the original vocals a shimmering quality that adds an expansiveness to the original track’s introspective nature.

Scott Wilson