For a band characterized by brief, unassuming tracks, Mount Kimbie sure have a lot of gear. They seemed to need all of it, though. Not quite so precious live, the thick dust of field recordings gave their entire set a heady, tangible atmosphere, which meant each drum hit that sliced through the fog made all the more impact. Using guitars, drum machines and pads, the duo effortlessly switched roles and traded equipment as they played expanded variations on their small but powerful catalogue.
Rather than work out pitch perfect on-the-fly reconstructions of their best known songs, they used their catalogue as a springboard for controlled improvisation, busting into unexpected hip-hop breakdowns or bolstering their songs with loud, rapturous outros. A roomier arrangement gave the downslope of "Sketch on Glass" that essential extra bit of oomph, and they buried the soothing melodies of "Ode to Bear" under screeching tones. The duo's spirited rendition of "Fields" realized the track's banging techno potential, at least until the blistering guitar strums of the climax dived head-first into a shocking few bars of 10-tons-heavy halfstep, where the live hi-hats slurred and shattered on impact.
The band's set, riveting while it lasted, was too short for a truly satisfying headliner set (about 40 minutes total), and they weren't without hiccups—the live vocals over "Maybes" were ill-conceived to say the least. But for that short period when the band were on, the considerable fuss and hype that surrounds Mount Kimbie felt completely justified. No one does it like them.