British electronic duo Mount Kimbie has been labeled “post-dubstep” — a genre different from its popular forebear in that it lacks dubstep’s heavy bass. The band’s sound is more ambient and creatively ambitious than booming dance tracks; Mount Kimbie creates music by stitching together vocals, instrumental passages, field recordings and vintage drum machine samples.
The duo emerged from the plaster walls of a bedroom studio and into the limelight after its positively received debut record, 2010’s “Crooks and Lovers.” Mount Kimbie’s new album, the just-released “Cold Spring Fault Less Youth,” features 11 tracks, each of which sounds completely unlike the others.
“If you choose a few songs out of the new album, you wouldn’t think they were by the same band,” says Dom Maker, who formed Mount Kimbie in 2009 with Kai Campos while the two were students at London South Bank University.
The duo recently played to bigger crowds on a major European tour with English indie-poppers the xx and is now performing across the U.S. Campos and Maker’s favorite shows haven’t been the stadium performances, though.
“Big shows on these massive stages are a different experience completely,” Campos says. “When it goes really well, it’s an amazing feeling. But the actual act of planning is quite different. You can hear any little discrepancy. It’s amplified so much because of the size of the venue, so you approach those [shows] a bit differently.”
A 300-person show in Austria is where the two felt most in their element. “If I had to only do one type of venue for the rest of my life, it would have to be small shows,” Campos says. At the rate the band’s popularity is rising, though, that might not be an option for long.
“We have this weird, intensive insecurity about not being musicians,” Campos says. They are musicians, of course: Unlike many other electronic acts, the two play instruments during live sets.
For now, the band’s preference for smaller venues is good news for District fans: Black Cat’s mainstage area holds only 700 people.
Inside Track: The danceable “Made to Stray,” off “Cold Spring Fault Less Youth,” features dreamy vocals by Campos and Maker. A psychedelic video for the song was designed and directed by Leif Podhajsky, who’s also responsible for the album art.Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW; Sat., 9 p.m., $15-$18; 202-667-7960. (U Street)