Review : Various Artists - Kitsune Maison 8
PitchforkThe Paris-based Kitsuné label has diverse tastes that can only be encompassed by the large "indie-dance" tent. Its aesthetic is built on a bedrock of retro house and future disco. It tends to like the flashy, upbeat, and stylish; the play of wiry digital sequences against brightly buffed analog electronics or sculpted guitars; pop-culture nostalgia and ingenuous good-life anthems. Its catalog leaves plenty of room for electro-pop, indie rock, and indefinable left-field music, provided that it has a certain chic air, polished production, and at least a toe on the dance floor. It's eclectic, but not in a haphazard way: Wherever cool people make music for other cool people to dance to, remix, and recognize while boutique-shopping, Kitsuné is there.
Despite this variety, the makeup of their compilations is remarkably consistent. They always contain one or two rising stars (prior installments caught Phoenix, Hot Chip, Klaxons, and Bloc Party at ideal moments), some killer tracks that are either too techno or too weird to get really popular, and a bunch of stuff that would at least perk up your ears on "Gossip Girl" or at Urban Outfitters. This installment is no exception. Memory Tapes' "Bicycle" fills the breakout slot-- while he's unlikely to go on to Phoenix-caliber stardom, he's one of the signal acts of the emergent glo-fi genre. A couple of other standout tracks also get in on the endless summer that was 2009. French Horn Rebellion's "Up All Night" is a great opener-- irresistible, panting synth-pop, with fat new wave key tones and ecstatic vocals. And the Drums' "Let's Go Surfing", a delicious "Young Folks"-meets-"Misirlou" bon bon, maintains its winking yet earnest 50s feel flawlessly; the "down by the rollercoaster" break is especially contrived and convincing. They're like a Kitsuné version of Surfer Blood, with mannered aesthetics standing in for messy abandon....full text
PrefixmagIt's the most wonderful time of the year again. No, not the Christmas season -- that's been going on since October. The reason to rejoice is that the House of Kitsune has released its new compilation, Number 8, and the experience of listening is much like unwrapping gifts under a tree. There's always the hope that the gifts will include Modern Warfare 2 and maybe an extension from the bank on your home foreclosure. There is also the attendant risk of a lump of coal. The question on everyone's (chapped) lips is this: Is The Ocho any good?
Anyone who follows blogs religiously -- and is there really any other kind? -- will already have heard a number of these songs, but the charm of the Kitsune collections is that they have the potential to expose the enthusiasts of minimal music to surf rock, and it is a credit to the label that two such disparate acts can find a place under the same roof.
But the album? Well, the problem with putting so many singles on an album is that some of them cannot help but suffer in comparison. Sure, we live in an iPod-shuffle culture, but sometimes hearing a great song next to a mediocre one damages the experience of hearing both. As has been the problem with previous Kitsune releases, track order proves to be extremely jarring....full text
ReviewsblogFrench label Kitsune hit us up with their eighth trend pre-empting compilation of electro-tinged goodness and my, if this selection hasn't been stirring me out of my winter-induced slumbers.
Where to start with highlights when the quality is consistently high? Well, I guess The Drums with their new whistling classic 'Let's Go Surfing' is as good a place as any. It's pop enough to be included on 'Now That's What I Call Whistling... 17', and yet indie enough not to become annoying after five listens (I can't guarantee this song will never become annoying, but so far, so good).
There's also a new track from Aussies Midnight Juggernauts, which I don't think quite matches up to their 'Dystopia' album but is still alright, while Diesel faves Heartsrevolution keep us dancing till dawn with, er, 'Dance Till Dawn', and Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos remixes Chew Lips to good effect. Delphic are another highlight with their poppy electro adding a smoother edge, while the encore of Crystal Fighters' 'I Love London' gets down and dirty with their Basque take on this type of thing....full text
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