Kitsuné Maison’s fashion-cum-music brand has become something of a weathercock for a shallow artistic valley hemmed in by electro pop on the one side and its cousin, electro-indie, on the other. Their previous seven compilations are awash with familiar names (Bloc Party, Wolfmother, Klaxons, Gossip) often remixed by other, equally well-known artists (Soulwax, Metronomy, MSTRKRFT), so that the entire back-catalogue resembles some sort of digitalised, cross border love-in.
Volume 8 is perhaps less knowingly on the button than many of its predecessors, but that may just be because Kitsuné Maison has become better at picking out future talent. The inclusion of the retro-feel ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ by Brooklyn’s The Drums (booked onto February’s NME tour if you missed their appearance in London in October) is a masterstroke, but there are other, more surprising successes.
Take AMWE’s ‘Friction Between the Lovers’, which would sound like the sort of bad Ibiza schmaltz they play on MTV Dance, were it not for the trebly, sawing riff and ultra-fuzzy bass that top and tail the 6am-on-the-beach female vocals. Siriusmo’s ‘High Together’ has more weight behind it, carved from a sequence of gothic chords, overdubbed with unidentifiable digitised shouting.
Admittedly, much of the album has serious overtones of late ’90s house flashbacks, not to mention hints of that flavour of European dance music that is both less cool and far more fun than their British counterparts might produce. True too that not every song will be to everyone’s taste – the opening oriental twangs of Le Corps Mince De Francoise’s ‘Something Golden’ left this reviewer cold, though the track does improve – but the good is by far outweighed by the bad. Kitsuné Maison continue to cements their position as a compilation series you might not always want to have on display, but you’ll always want to own.