Various - Kitsuné Maison 10 - The Fireworks Issue

Rhian Daly 30/11/2010

Rating: 5/5

Over the last five years, super hip French label Kitsuné have brought us the creme de la creme of fresh, interesting music. Release for the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, Paul Epworth's Phones, The Teenagers and La Roux to name but four have propelled it to along to its current status as one of the hottest labels in Europe, if not globally.
Renowned for hunting out the most exciting new names, Kitsuné's compilations are guaranteed to be magnificent explorations of bands on the cusp of success, whether that be mainstream or underground. Their 10th release in the Kitsuné Maison series, aptly christened with the celebratory subtitle The Firework Issue, continues along the established route to create one of the label's best releases yet.
Cascadeur open Disc 1 with the measured melancholia of 'Walker (Early Mix)', four and a half minutes of the perfect soundtrack to drifting through the city under dark, gloomy clouds - both literally and metaphorically. Hotly-tipped New Yorkers Guards quickly evaporate the moody atmospherics on the yelpy, MGMT/Born Ruffians tinged 'Don't Wake The Dead' that twists from overexcitable, high-speed scuzzy pop to twinkly, mesmeric soundscape before making room for 'South Pacific', Is Tropical's swoonsome 21st century sea shanty.
Strange Talk fly the flag for Australia with 'Climbing Walls', a big, glittery pop beast in the vein of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool's 'Dance The Way I Feel' or Phoenix post-obliteration via LCD Soundsystem's gigantic disco ball. In short, it is fucking HUGE. Battling it for the top spot as number one highlight of the first CD is ace Frenchies, Jolie Cherie. 'Insomnie' - which one can only assume is Gallic for insomnia - is the sort of off-kilter electro-pop you would happily stay up all night for; a song that could lure feet to UV-lit floor tiles any time of day or night. Plus, it has marimbas on it so big win for Melina, Samir and Etienne aka the band.
How, you might muse, can Disc 2 possibly compete with that bundle of absolute wonder? And you'd be right to do so but, luckily, part deux is pretty alright an'all. Kitsuné, you do spoil us.
Clock Opera, according to this here official Kitsuné press release, are “the electronic Coldplay.” As horrible as that might sound, it's a pretty accurate description - 'Once And For All' spirals upwards in a swirl of earnest melodies much like Chris Martin and friends but the shimmering electronics behind it rescue it from trespassing on Martin's specially reserved territory of Blandsville.
Housse De Racket, in contrast, sound nothing like Coldplay. Phew. Instead they sing brightly in broken English on 'Château', a bouncing, after hours, alterna-festival anthem, if there were any justice in the world. Which hopefully there will be in 2011. Also possibly includes the lyric “I've got an elephant temper”, which, if correct, is quite frankly just the best thing ever.
The Heartbreaks are, apparently, The Drums' favourite band, although GIITTV's in-house Drums nerd (HI) seems to have missed this declaration of love. It is an admiration you can see developing though, sharing a common romanticised nostalgia, simplicity and accessible pop sensibility. 'Liar, My Dear' does feel a little out of place here, sandwiched between the chaotic noise-punk of Teeth and Waylayers' brooding baritone, and would probably work better on the first disc but this is but a minor technicality.
Closing on Cecile's remix of May 68's 'The Prisoner', the 10th Kitsuné Maison compilation is a telescope into the near future, revealing a vision of fun, brilliance and a hella load of dancing. If the wider world would care to listen up to what Kitsuné are doing, maybe we could all stop being miserable slash rioting for a sec and be glad at least someone, somewhere is doing the right thing.