Sunday, 9 February 2014

Album review: Kitsuné New Faces

While we love supporting our local favourites, we also love to branch into unknown territory and hear something a little different. The new mixtape from French collective Kitsuné offers up a mixed platter of electronic, dreampop and soul music which makes for a great long, lazy listen.

The Kitsuné brand also expands into fashion and merchandise, so selectivity and good taste are among their principle desires. We know that they have already signed Two Door Cinema Club and Delphic and this mixtape showcases all sorts of creative production, from our fellow Aussies Snakadaktal to new material from talented UK musicians among others.

It kicks off with music from London psych band Animatter People, which meets somewhere between the musical universes of Tame Impala and Grizzly Bear, using real instruments among effects, and pushing boundaries with plenty of reverb and lush sound dynamics.

But then Luxury shakes it up with tricky rhythm and high-pitched synths. The album has an overall smoothness to it, with nothing too shaky or controversial, but Kitsuné does stand for the underdog (or fox – their signature logo) and so the artists who they pick are often quite experimental.

Take Hyetal Jam, with moody yet refined electronic music, or Kilo Kish, an American musician with her head well around modern hip-hop.

Among the synth emerge more soulful tunes. Solomon Grey (half-Australian, half-English duo) channel Bon Iver vibes with a combination of production and live instrumentals, sentimental crooning and echoed build-ups. London group Years & Years hark back to the original soul veterans but with a modern freshness and upbeat makeover, and I dig their vocals.

We’re quite familiar with Snakadaktal, and are fans of their slick production. Their addictive dream pop slots in nicely into the collection. And while their work sounds best played all together, one of their heavier tracks was chosen for this mix, which obviously impressed foreign ears.

And while we’re often receiving new tunes in bits and grabs, free downloads and online streams, it’s a nice treat to receive it all in a neat bundle of chewable size.

Published on AdamNOTEve.

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