Various Artists - Kitsune Maison 11 - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Various Artists - Kitsune Maison 11

by Priscilla Eyles Rating:7 Release Date:2011-05-23

Those French hipsters have produced yet another infectiously catchy and trendy album of indie-electro tunes from mostly little known new bands (at least little known to me), designed to get you on the dance-floor and searching the internet for bands you feel you should have heard of before.

Opening track 'Let's Go All the Way' is by a band so new that they haven't even named themselves yet, but we will surely be hearing their name soon if this track is anything to go by. It is a minimalist affair with some atmospheric synth and 80s sounding electronic drums and a female singer who sounds a bit like a cross between Alison Mosshart and Karen O - sultry and captivating, in other words.

Most of the other tracks are more upbeat and sound similar to the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, Delphic, Phoenix, Friendly Fires and Fenech-Solar. Housse De Racket's 'Roman' is a case in point: with it's joyously anthemic synth lines, thumping drums and big sound, it's just the sort of song you could expect to hear in Topshop and one which is instantly likeable. Polarsets' 'Sunshine Eyes' meanwhile has the same driving pulse. It's cowbell percussion (recalling Friendly Fire's 'Jump in the Pool'), catchy post-punky guitar riff and synth bursts are truly irresistible; you can't help but move to this one even if it does verge on the derivative. Cosmonaut's 'Say What You Want' has a very singalong, Delphic-like chorus and a great pounding electronic beat (which could also be live drums, hard to tell).

Other tracks are a bit more experimental. 'Gallops' by Miami Spider is an instrumental number with some quirky high pitched keyboard washes and some great guitar riffs which recall Battles and Tapes 'N Tapes. Tracks like Azari and III's sinister, atmospheric and wonderfully layered remix of 'Days' by Creep (featuring the breathy vocals of Romy from The xx), Peter and the Magician's 'Twist', The Touch's 'Sermon' - all standouts - are more rave orientated going into house/tehno territory, offering some variety from the guitar/synth formula of other tracks.

Other highlights include Logo X Icona Pop's 'Luvsick', a discoey Metronomy-like number which has an unbeatably funky groove and bassline, some nice vocals and a great synth melody, and Fiction's 'Big Things', probably the most famous song on the album, which has great rhythm and a winning chorus. There are some skippable tracks, including the ridiculously named 'Phantastic Phone Call' by Alexander Dexter Jones which seems a pastiche of 80s pop complete with celestial sounding keyboards and over-emotive vocals. Meanwhile, 'Silver Screen' by Beat Connection features twee sounding recorder sounds and a keyboard sound like one of those cheap mini-keyboards you can get in Argos.

But overall there are enough good songs on the album to overlook the banal ones. If you want a great snapshot of indie-dance music in 2011 than this is good place to start.

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