Rob Day guides you through a little bit of the Parsian Music scene in this stunning compliation

As we enter into a new decade, French- Japanese clothing and music label Kitsuné has released the sixth instalment of their ‘Kitsuné Parisien’ compilation series. Featuring a diverse plethora of the latest French talent, this 15 track compilation provides a tantalising glimpse into the landscape of the country’s popular music, with a meticulously curated selection of up and coming artists that are really worth keeping an eye on.

Featuring past releases from the likes of Daft Punk, Hot Chip, Bloc Party, La Roux and Two Door Cinema Club, Kitsuné Musique has always been historically diverse, and is no stranger to contrast. ‘Kitsuné’, the Japanese word for ‘fox’, refers to the Japanese belief that the fox has the power to change its face and appearance, and this characteristic is more than adequately reflected by the multifaceted nature of the brand, and, more specifically, the compilation itself.

From the velvet voice of Parisien vocalist Ehla to the psychedelic swirls of SuperParka’s kaleidoscopic instrumentals, the track list never disappoints. What is immediately impressive upon a first listen is the sense of balance; unlike a lot of compilations, no track seems out of place or lagging behind, and although the tone of the selection navigates through a variety of genres from synth pop to deep house, there is a satisfying sense of consistency in both quality and energy. The compilation features unreleased material from five artists: the dreamy soundscapes of Courrier Sud, the ethereal vocalist Joanna, duo Pas Sages, the rallying chorus’ of HATT, and the summery sensations of Première Fois.

Joanna – Photo by Liswaya Kilear & Paul Jeannin

There is a distinct sense of old and new throughout, with nostalgic 90s style synths fusing seamlessly with sharper contemporary sounds. An example of this is ‘GET LOST’ from the label’s latest signee Matveï, where vintage lo-fi chords are expertly layered with crisp choppy vocal samples. This idea of the reinvention of the old can be seen embedded within the graphics themselves, with duo Louise Harding and Geraldine Place to create the artwork; ‘We chose the typography Antique Olive because it has been part of the Parisian landscape since the early 1960s. By using it with bright and contemporary colors, we break its usual codes. With these choices, the new cover “Kitsuné Parisien” plays with contrasts also clearly represented in its tracklist.’

‘Kitsuné Parisien’ showcases a promising selection of French talent, and does so in and reassuringly diverse and engaging fashion. Whilst the label, like so many other organisations over the last few weeks, were forced to cancel their upcoming launch under the looming threat of the coronavirus outbreak, Kitsuné stands strong its ability to spotlight the hidden gems of the generation, and to welcome them into the growing bastion of the country’s popular music culture.

Listen to the full compliation here

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