Various Artists - Kitsuné Maison 10

by Leonie Mercedes Rating:9 Release Date:2010-11-29

It should be really easy to hate Kitsuné. The Franco-Japanese imprint responsible for the early championing of acts like Simian Mobile Disco, Digitalism and Klaxons, and stable to brand new acts like Two Door Cinema Club and Is Tropical, Kitsuné are like the cool older brother you aspire to be. With a preppy clothing label to their name, this might just be an idea they are cultivating. It should be really easy to hate Kitsuné but it isn't because they make compilations as good as these.

The latest in their Maison series, 10 sees Kitsuné head honchos Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki once again open their record bags to share the goodness inside for two whole discs. It's a playful journey through glassy gallic electro and danceable indie, its heart in the discotheque. We're broken in gently, though confidently, with what sounds like a highly evolved version of 1960s Parisian pop, the slightly sombre but sparkling 'Walker' by Cascadeur. It's an excellent start, tantalising as there's no telling where we'll be taken next.

From the melody-driven 'South Pacific' by Is Tropical to the chopped-up electro of BeatauCue's 'Disque Oh!' via the shattered guitars of Phoenixian Strange Talk's 'Climbing Walls', this is joyful music. There's a charmingly DIY feel to it. Maybe it's the lovingly drawn-and-coloured-in cover artwork. Or perhaps it's because the style of songs is varied enough for this to play like a gifted mixtape; it isn't forcibly 'eclectic', nor is it boringly uniform as many label compilations tend to be. Effortlessly cool it may be, but never cooler-than-thou.

The second disc is more of the same pop with pep, though in a deeper tone. Swedish duo Icona Pop's 'Manners' mechanically lurches before Digitalism's new frantically arpeggiating tune 'Blitz', and Lancashire-based The Heartbreaks deliver sweetly jangling indie. Black Strobe club favourite 'Me and Madonna' gets an unashamedly discoey rerub from Brazilian producers aligned-by-birth-date The Twelves. Of course the 2002 original is unassailable in its sparse, filthy brilliance, but it's a treat to hear it recontextualised for the 'teens (decade not demographic). The melancholic vocals of Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor somehow sit comfortably upon Justus Kohncke's reimagining of Studio 54 disco in 'Sorry'. There are just so many highlights. By the end we all want a key to the Maison. Hell, why not pull on a pair of Kitsuné kecks while you're at it?

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