With compilations now coming out like clockwork, it must be hard for Kitsuné to ignite much more than polite acknowledgement these days—even from the most hardcore hipsters. Because while the imprint is touting Kitsuné Maison Volume 6 as "the melodic one," one look at the cooler-than-thou style of artwork that has adorned every Maison compilation should tell you everything you need to know: Volume 6 sounds a lot like more of the same.
Clothes designers—and Kitsuné's two-headed A&R hydra—Gildas and Masaya surely know better. The electro-house-by-the-numbers of d.i.m.'s remix of Fischerspooner's "Danse en France" and the polite reenactments by Digitalism, Streetlife DJs, and autoKratz of what they do best are forgettable and uneventful, while You Love Her Coz She's Dead (great band name) and Heartsrevolution (not that great) are trying too hard to find a place for themselves in a niche already occupied by Crystal Castles, leaving their attempt at digital terror pop ("Superheroes," "Ultraviolence") rather lifeless and, most criminally, unoriginal.
They still have an ear for promising new talents, though: Ted & Francis' "I Wish I Was a Polar Bear (Arctic Urgency Edit)," for instance, is built around a heady church-like organ riff, something we don't hear often enough in dance music, while young London's hopeful La Roux gladly recalls, with first single "Quicksand," the oddball Scandinavian female pop of The Knife and Jenny Wilson. David E. Sugar, on the other hand, is in melancholic mode with "Although You May Laugh," and A-Trak makes his official foray into the world of B-more electro with "Say Whoa" (basically a shortened, danceable version of his Nike-sponsored 40-minute experiment).
Finally, Pnau and Appalloosa's sing-along charms are hard to resist on "With You Forever" and the piano-driven "The Day (We Fell in Love)," rendering the compilation's proper "melodic" songwriting pretensions not that foolish after all. Six good tracks out of nineteen do not make for profitable long-term album-buying investment, though, confirming the label's strength in punctual, one-off releases instead of actual long-playing formats.
The "Maison" brand has, on the evidence of its sixth chapter, run its trendy course, no matter how they're spinning it. It may be a different color palette, but we're hearing the same basic sketches and overall designs season after season: Kitsuné is in need of a definite fashion(istas) upheaval.
Tracklist 01. Lo-Fi-Fnk - Want U
02. La Roux - Quicksand
03. Pnau - With You Forever
04. You Love Her Coz She's Dead - Superheroes
05. Ted & Francis - I Wish I Was A Polar Bear (Arctic Urgency Edit)
06. Digitalism - Taken Away (Instrumental)
07. autoKratz - Stay The Same (Edit)
08. Beni - My Love Sees You
09. Fischerspooner - Danse En France (D.I.M. Remix)
10. Etienne De Crecy Et Monsieur Jo - Hanukkah
11. Streetlife DJs - We Love the Disco Sound (Radio Edit)
12. A-Trak - Say Whoa
13. We Have Band - Hear It in the Cans (DIY Version)
14. Heartsrevolution - Ultraviolence
15. Grovesnor - Drive Your Car (Hot Chip Remix)
16. David E Sugar - Although You May Laugh
17. Appaloosa - The Day We Fell In Love
18. Piste Presque Fantôme
19. The Shoes - Let's Go