Mixing ambient textures with wobbly bass and melancholy synths, the London duo Mount Kimbie give the term “post-dubstep” a sound on their debut full-length, an album that’s very special and very easy to over sell. One of the most special qualities found on Crooks & Lovers is a “music for music’s sake” sense of being. Everything here is so humble, so reserved that the duo seem uninterested in dubstep’s usual sense of cool, and as a result, the album can easily fade into the background when attentive listening isn’t applied. Loan this treasure out over night and there’s a good chance it will be returned with a shrug but devote some attention to these easy rolling numbers and the details emerge, organic ones and digital ones in equal share. Guitars and vocal snippets that are cut close in a James Blake-style sit on top easy flowing, laptop-generated soundscapes that are “misty” rather than “foggy.” The perfect blend of soul vocals and glitch makes “Carbonated” a highlight and creating a hook out of a sample of rainfall means “Ruby” is a winner but every track sounds better when the album is taken as a whole, an easy task as it runs under 40 minutes. Even when it comes to run time, Mount Kimbie don’t ask for much, but they reward like few others in dubstep, post-dubstep, or otherwise.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries