Review: Kitsuné Maison Compilation 11 (2011)

Six years after the first Kitsuné Maison Compilation the Paris based fashion and electronic music label have reached their 11th instalment of the indie inspired club music collection… or is that club inspired indie music?

This is a question which has followed the label around the past decade. They feel that this, “the Indie-Dance issue” of the series speaks for itself and sits “right at the crossroads” of the two genres which have been at the heart of their label.

Whatever the ingredients that make up this fresh musical soup, it is sure to be the perfect recipe for the Summer, as one sun drenched tune gives way to another in a 17 track barrage of the newest and most cutting edge Indie-Dance music being created on the planet right now. According to the label, these tracks have been carefully selected from artists all around the world; some are so new the band doesn’t even have a name yet. So if anything Kitsuné is providing a cross-section on the global indie-dance music scene as it exists right now… A reflection perhaps on how much the music world has been opened up by the internet, it seems that now not only music listeners, but also the labels themselves are scouring the World Wide Web for the next best thing since sliced bread.

This is certainly a compilation to bring to your next house party. There is not one downer in the bunch and every track is packed full of that ridiculous sense of optimism and positivity that one feels as they crack into their first beer, and chat busily to friends about the club, the music, the possibilities of the night ahead, and the “hottie-in-the-corner” who just keeps checking you out.

“Roman” from Housse De Racket is exactly what you need to loosen those dancing limbs, with that combination of guitar and synth that seems to be the common factor that runs through this whole collection. Polarsets’ “Sunshine Eyes” with its percussion and kalimba like melodies places you at a rooftop party, at dusk on a summer’s evening, watching the sun set behind skyscrapers and the city lights illuminate the way to the dancefloor.

It’s is clear that Kitsuné have strove to develop a soundtrack to your night out this summer. Whether you like it or not, each tune documents those specific, unforgettable moments on everyone’s night out; you will be humming along Alexander Dexter Jones’ “Phantastic Phone Call” as you pile into your wardrobe for the perfect outfit; Polarsets and Housse De Racket bring you the pre-drinks while Cosmonaut and Creep pump menacingly out of the doors of the club while you lose yourself in the collective happiness of the dancefloor. Sermon “The Touch” is for that moment when you dip deep into the groove late on in the night, pounding house grooves and chanting vocals power you through until the sunrise. Before you know it you’re halfway out of a car sunroof, feeling the wind in your hair as you breeze down empty city streets at 5am singing at the top of your lungs to Guards’ “Resolution of One”.

As a fashion label their idea must be that if you feel good listening to this music you will most certainly look good. Even at 7am as you munch on some cold pizza on the floor of some guys apartment with only one shoe and a banana skin that you acquired from some other drunken reveller only hours earlier… by this stage you are singing along to “Big Things” by Fiction and haven’t a care in the world… you feel great so you must look like a million dollars… right?

There are definitely some stand-out tracks on this compilation. I took the time to catch up with Gallops, a Welsh outfit whose killer tune “Miami Spider” has been turning heads and bending ears all around the world. After completing two cracking headline gigs this past weekend at Camden Crawl, it is clear that the band love the stage and this track reflects that with a clear live sound, a natural groove and progression that is driven through by a killer repeating guitar line. When I asked them about their live sound Mark, one of four members in the band, had this to say.

“To be fair I would say we are a live band first and foremost. That’s not to say our recordings don’t do us justice, but I do think we are best experienced in the flesh. Our music is probably best when as loud as possible.”

And on their track “Miami Spider” Mark explained

“Miami Spider was the final track on our debut EP that was released at the end of last summer through Holy Roar/Blood and Biscuits and it seems to be the most popular track from that EP. I guess it is the most catchy and immediate so we can see why. It’s quite strange and bad timing that this compilation is getting released so long after the EP, as it almost feels like we have put that track to bed and are moving on with new sounds etc. Perhaps we would of sold millions if the compilation had been released before the EP! Perhaps not. It’s definitely great to be featured though, regardless of the timing factor!”

(You can find the whole interview on www.intheblackbox.eu)

Gallops have a distinctive sound that really stands out over the rest of the compilation, however they fit right into the overall vibe of the collection which looks set to hit home at parties and clubs when it is released on the 16th of May. It is a party album, a celebration of the best bits of indie-dance, designed to get you moving your feet and nodding your head. It is the soundtrack to your nights out, your one night stands, your drunk and disorderly-s, your early morning after parties, your sunsets and sunrises. Come September each track will have a memory, and be firmly engraved on your brain bringing back a little ray of summer sunshine every time you think of it.

Release Date: 05/16/2011
Label: Kitsuné, kitsune.fr
Running Time: 65mins

Tracklist:
01. “Let’s Go All The Way” (Early Version)
02. Alexander Dexter Jones – “Phantastic Phone Call”
03. Housse De Racket – “Roman”
04. Polarsets: “Sunshine Eyes”
05. Gallops: “Miami Spider” (Ponciau edit)
06. Cosmonaut – “Say What You Want”
07. Creep – “Days” (Azari & III Remix)
08. Is Tropical – “The Greeks”
09. Peter & The Magician – “Twist”
10. The Touch – “Sermon”
11. Logo x Icona Pop – “Luvsick”
12. Beat Connection – “Silver Screen”
13. Nightbox – “Pyramid”
14. Guards – “Resolution Of One”
15. Fiction – “Big Things”
16. Exotica – “Conte d’Eté” (Afrofunk Version)

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Rating: 7.1/10

Thoughts?