Concert review – No Gold, Babe Rainbow, Mount Kimbie at the Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, March 30
– review by Rebecca Apostoli/photos by Ashley Tanasiychuk
Thursday night three very different acts played the Biltmore, with varying degrees of success.
I was surprised to discover a Vancouver band I’d never heard before called No Gold, which could be ironic considering they looked pretty damn golden on stage. These three attractive guys played a style of indie rock with lush tropical rhythms and rich dubby bass, paired with synth, guitar and live drums. I found myself grooving to their laidback vibe and thoroughly enjoyed their set. Once they tighten up a bit these guys will do well.
Up next was Babe Rainbow, who was sadly a little disappointing. I love his production style and original tunes and I’ve been following his Twitter feed since hearing his Myspace. He was recently hyped by local media and music fans for signing with Warp (Grizzly Bear, Boards of Canada) as well as showcasing at SXSW, which in the past has been a legit career development conference/showcase opportunity for export-ready artists.
But Babe Rainbow still has a long way to go as a performer. To play electronic music for an audience one must grasp the art of the mix, not just be a producer who can create quality songs. He took us from a high-energy dance track into a hip-hop/soul remix in a breakneck ten-second mix (and repeated this move more than once in his set). Jarring, disconnected and a little schizophrenic in track selection and mix style, this DJ would do well with a little more practice and maybe more time spent on his production, which shows a lot of promise.
The night was topped off with a heady mix of deep house, UK garage and big beat (which I spontaneously coined “deepstep”) from London up-and-comers Mount Kimbie.
The duo of Dominic Maker and Kai Campos slammed us with a wicked selection of deep-in-your-soul grooves and mixed flawlessly from 4/4 to broken beats to polyrhythm and everything in between. These guys know how to make music in a way that is highly original, innovative and forward-thinking.
Using synths and drum machines, as well as guitars and a drumkit, the UK group created a totally immersive experience, augmented by looped samples which they employed in a very innocent and exploratory way. Not bound by genre specific convention, Mount Kimbie actively turns convention on its head and could even be called subversive in their use of sampling, effects and live production.
Live, they utilize their instruments with a skillful mastery while building to an intensity that sometimes borders on desperate abandon. It’s bands like Mount Kimbie that light the path to future breakthrough genres and provide a beacon for those downtrodden souls in the underground waiting for something new and original.
More Mount Kimbie photos: