Various Artists – Kitsune Parisien album review

“Kitsune Parisien” is the newest compilation released by Kitsune Maison, a French record and fashion label. Kitsune Maison was founded in part by former Daft Punk manager and art director Gildas Loaec, whom along with street artist and night club baron Andre Saraiva selected the tunes for “Kitsune Parisien”. Kitsune Maison has become legendary since it’s creation in 2002, releasing such artists as: Bloc Party, La Roux, Wolfmother and Crystal Castles.

“Kitsune Parisien” seems to feel more like a series of mini-albums than one entity. To some that would insinuate the mixing wasn’t quite done properly to create the illusion of cohesion. However this is a sign of the amazing care in this compilation. As a collection of works by different artists, even if they’re similar in musical style, there’s likely going to be outliers. Japanese influence shines through in the form of  a ‘wabi-sabi’ mixing style. Working with the differences rather than against them. This grants each song with not only its own distinct energy, but uses the boundaries of the songs themselves to create the flow of the album.

Destin is a Parisian duo; Louis and Alexandre. While it’s said they do everything together “Adelaide” is written and primarily the brain child of, Alexandre. Though sung in French, the inflection is infectious enough to entice even Anglo-phones into belting out some bastardized version of the lyrics.

With a chorus like an insidious jingle or a 90’s pop song  “Shade of Doubt” does well to not become annoying while being catchy as hell. A young Parisian woman, Birkii has studied violin at the music concervatoire since she was 5 years old. This however is her venture into electronic music with a Casio SK1.

Yan Wagner’s style is elegant yet versatile. A Paris native turned NYC infatuant, he returned home to work on his forthcoming debut album, due out after this summer. Besides being very easy to get stuck in ones head “Recession Song” is perfectly orchestrated. Yan’s voice is accessible without being crappy, the production is effective and precise, not to mention the actual sounds and tones used seem to be conducive to head banging.

Housse De Racket, it has been said, is on a mission to write the ultimate song. With Golden Bug’s touch on the remix, “Chateau” is the closest approximation to that goal that seems to exist. It seems as though the sounds go to work directly on one’s central nervous system. At each moment enticing a reaction. “Chateau” will be included in Housse De Racket’s upcoming album this spring.

Jupiter, an English and French duo makes music in the studio and love in life. “Sake” is infectious as most songs on “Kitsune Parisien” are but perhaps with a more cross genre appeal, anyone could love this song.

Another Parisian duo, Logo is made up of Hughes and Thomas. Former students of Dauphine faculté and Penningen art school. “Hello.jpg” highlights the joy of the music creation process. With sounds being layered over one another into a crescendo as well as abrupt changes into eargasmic sounds it almost feels like one is creating the music in that moment

With a hook so catchy you’ll be singing it first time around. A beat so catchy you’ll be hard pressed not to dance like a lemur in heat. “Horrors of Love” will evoke a reaction. The members of Ryskee know one of the principal elements of a banger is a track’s inherent funkiness, and this one’s chocked full-o-funk.

Beautaucue, are not Parisian but rather from Caen. They’re two incredibly talented young men and ’92 generates, virtual infants in terms of French electro. “Behold” feels like the first time you go to a rave in an abandoned building. Almost a more refined and mature version of 90’s hardcore techno. All you need is a pacifier and white gloves then you’re set.

There’s something incredibly primal about “Glory”. Like waking up outside, realizing you have to find your way back home. Savauge a duo made up of Edouard and Pierre Allin, two Parisian men in their early twenties. Savauge explores new and unique ways to organize structures and sounds, which comes across greatly in this song.

The soul of a full band and the fun catchy vibe of  disco, these two brothers set the tone of  Y2K fervor with “1999”. Valley do a good job of luring you into a pulsating, hypnotic track with haunting vocals and a fun pop vibe. You will dance, you may even party like its nineteen ninety nine.

Exotica could look like a fat crusty old dock worker, and you would still imagine a beautiful slinking French cabaret dancer whenever you hear her voice. “Desorbitee” has some obligatory new wave and 80’s pop elements that can’t be ignored. My initial reaction was that it’s so retro it’s hip but after a few listens you’ll agree it’s more likely so hip it just happens to be retro.

“Meaning” is amazing because it tricks you into thinking its an acoustic track. Then once you hear some samples you think it will kick into full electronic bells and whistles from just piano and voice. Then you’re pleasantly surprised to find that there’s just the bare minimum of electrification it needed. Cascadeur, apart from playing the piano since he was 9 years old, and having an amazing ear for creating music, seems to go everywhere with a mask on. No one really knows who he is.

“Kitsune Parisien” no doubt will leave fans of previous Kitsune Maison compilations satisfied. As well as new fans interested and wanting more.

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