Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Delorean & Mount Kimbie: the new poptronica

The last decade has been one wild ride for techno. Remember trance? Remember Sasha & Digweed, Paul Oakenfold, or DJ Tiesto? Doesn't it seem like those guys should be dead by now? Seriously, thinking about the progression that took us from Fatboy Slim to Daft Punk to Girl Talk, it seems less like an evolution of a genre and more like electronica swallowing all of popular music whole. Bands like MGMT and Passion Pit only reinforce the point - synthesizers are taking over the world.

Delorean and Mount Kimbie's EPs are two of the more interesting explorations of these still-wild poptronica frontiers. A 4-piece out of Barcelona, Delorean combines the beat atmospherics of Cut Copy with the piano stabs and power chords of U2. I'm not quite as entranced by their Ayrton Senna EP as Pitchfork is, but at the same time there's no denying that "Seasun" is on some sweet "Chemical Brothers mate with Animal Collective" tip. This album is meant to be played at 80 mph with the sun out, and I'm really jealous of those of you who have the ability to do that.


Mount Kimbie resides on the total opposite end of the musical spectrum, drawing much more from the genres of dubstep and postrock than anything overtly pop. A London-based duo, their single "Maybes" from the same-titled EP has been blowing up on the blogosphere for a few months now. Sparse and gritty yet retaining a gleaming, boisterous melody, it's an incredible balancing act that's one of the few really essential songs of the year. The rest of the album might be a little atmospheric/out there to merit repeat spins, but these guys will never fail to hold your attention.