The melody is always getting lost. Sounds come and go, showing off for a moment but no longer. Quickly swept aside for the next flashy turn to come round. Maybe the drum will kick back in. Maybe the vocal sample will loop back round. Maybe the DJ will breath really loudly into the mike. Perhaps it's just me but it seems like the best glitchy ambient dub step has a lot in common with the best hardcore crust punk. The music is always changing, finding some new angle, no matter how similar, everything gets ground together into an interesting mash of sounds.
Mount Kimbie have managed to do roughly that on their debut Crooks & Lovers. Most of the songs reach into the 4 minute range, which for this kind of glitchy music I find quite surprising. By glitchy I mean that everything is always changing. Every single sound of the song, and in any one of these songs there may be any number of different sounds, has been altered and screwed around with. The pitch may have been altered, may have been run through a filter, whatever needed to be done to flip it around into a variation that fit into the theme but is still weird enough to make you scratch your head consistently. And consistency is hard.
The songs are all so different which should not be a surprise anymore. The only thing they have in common is the fact that they are all constantly changing. I don't think a song stays the same for more than a 3 seconds at a time, if that. And that's what's fascinating. There isn't a lyricist to listen to, but that's about it. You can't say there's no beat because there is one obvious bangin' but it's constantly being morphed too. You can't say there are no solo's to enjoy because the whole piece is one large solo. Sometimes it gets a little quiet and subtle like in the middle of Before I Move Off before those chopped up voices come in but there's always layers of texture.
This is music that demands your attention. The amount of effort it would take to put this music together really comes together in a way that makes you sit up and take notice. It's not going to sit there nicely for you throbbing away to one beat all night long. It's going to mutate. It's going to get up off the floor and change into something completely new that you didn't see coming but seems perfectly right. The fluidity will draw you back in at the same time as the variety of the samples will make you pay attention. You may feel like your flying through space. Space is much more normal than this music.