No Gold, Babe Rainbow, Mount Kimbie – March 30th Biltmore Cabaret

Thursday, March 30th three different acts shared the bill at 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.


Credit: formatnoauto

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. 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.

babe rainbow

credit: formatnoauto

The night was topped off with a heady mix of deep house, uk garage and big beat (which I spontaneously coined “deepstep,”) from UK up ‘n comers Mount Kimbie. They 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. Their use of ambient sound creates a total immersive experience, paired with looped samples that they employ in a very innocent and exploratory way. They aren’t bound by genre specific convention in the way most artists are, they actively turn convention on its head and could even be called subversive in their use of sampling, effects and live production. Their stage presence is definitely noteworthy, watching them utilize every instrument on stage with a skillful mastery while building intensity and sometimes even bordering into 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.

Mount Kimbie at the BIltmore

credit: formatnoauto

spanish sahara – foals (mount kimbie remix)


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