French label extraordinaire KitsunÃ© releases 'KitsunÃ© Parisien II', a colourful and exciting collection of tracks from the latest emerging bands and acts on the vibrant Parisian scene(s) and beyond.
Rich from its experience and contacts, KitsunÃ© - a great Parisian export - is of course well placed to encounter the new breed and single out talented hopefuls. This is precisely what the Parisien series aims to do, gather and present to the world some of the romantic city's freshest players whether they rehearse in damp cellars, compose on their laptop in their kitchen or record in state-of-the-art home-studios.
Bien sÃ»r it's not just about Paris, as a few artists here don't actually live in the capital but they're all French and have a Parisian connection going (not least for having being welcomed in the extended KitsunÃ© family).
Covering the many bases of electropop, indie-dance and everything in between, Parisien II - selected by KitsunÃ© chef Gildas LoaÃ«c and designed by night bird / graffiti artist AndrÃ© - offers a lively snapshot of what is cooking up for 2012 in Paris and further afield. Introducing you to KitsunÃ©'s promising finds, the new Parisian cuvÃ©e is here.
1. Tomorrow's World - So Long My Love
2. Juveniles - Ambitions
3. Owlle - Free (Parisien mix)
4. LESCOP- La ForÃªtdans
5. About The Girl - Tiger Evolution
6. Nameless - Angelina
7. Birkii - Holy War
8. BeatauCue - Kiho
9. We Are Knights - Tears
10. Wolfpack Beartrack - Modern Realm
11. Slowdance - Airports
12. Exotica - Spectrum (Radio edit)
13. LA//KVLKD - Zephyr
14. Pyramid - The Race
15. SingTank -The Party (Lucas Sorel remix)
16. KIT - Those Words
>> TOMORROW'S WORLD
Stop press! Air's Jean-Benoit Dunckel kicks off his new side project on KitsunÃ©. Always one to push boundaries, Jean-Benoit has teamed up with Lou Hayter the keyboard player from New Young Pony Club, also a vocalist in her own outfit The New Sins. For their first track to see the light of day he gets his TR808 drum machine and vintage six-strings out to create an impressive wall of sound built from his fuzz guitars and Lou's ethereal vocals. With its cold wave feel, think Velvet Underground meets Suicide, 'So Long My Love' opens up yet more new directions for this enfant terrible of French pop.
The Breton trio has recently released a single on KitsunÃ© ('We Are Young') and is back for more. Juveniles' upbeat pop effortlessly combines French and Anglo-Saxon references. Here 'Ambitions' recalls the 80s new wave's extravagant productions and will create havoc in les boums (school parties).
Beware. big shot here. Although she's only just started gigging around, Owlle looks set to become a household name in no time. Indeed this gifted singer/songwriter is no random candidate, self-taught, equally at ease behind guitars or computers, this enigmatically named lady bares her soul in solid compositions and belts them out accordingly. Remember where you heard it first.
For foreign bands, the English language is the necessary passport to achieve international recognition, but LESCOP is having none of it. Despite having originated in London when an extensive collaboration with (other expats) John & Jehn was sealed, the project of this young French singer sticks to his native language. The idea is to create a new alternative by perverting France's mainstream pop, la variÃ©tÃ©, with dangerous texts and burning musical ideas whilst brewing influences from all over (Bowie, Taxi Girl, Mishima, disco.).
>> ABOUT THE GIRL
Another discovery made in Reims, the city of Yuksek, The Shoes, Brondiski . and champagne. About The Girl is Amandine, who helped by her local talented friends is preparing an onslaught on pop. Accessible yet quite unique, rich in inspiration and references, she is on a mission to rescue pop from dull blandness.
France is known for nurturing bands (usually formed at school) who revisit rock's great tradition. Nameless lean more towards the 80s but still wear by their guitars. No newcomers, they have steadily built their profile over the years with much touring. 'Angelina', their contribution to Parisien II shows they're rather tight and pretty good at coming up with sharp choruses.
Already featured on the first Parisien compilation with 'Shade Of A Doubt', Birkii received much praise for her homemade emotive electropop. New track 'Holy War' offers a similar verve which is all subtlety, orchestral-like arrangements, shimmering synths and vocal melodies you want to sing along to. a dreamed up garden where her - definitely French - romantic moods take off for an international flight.
These two need no introduction. the bad boys of French electro are unstoppable. After establishing themselves with a batch of bangers and convincing remixes (Kylie, Two Door Cinema Club, Yelle, Pony Pony Run Run, Florrie, Mika.), the pair's big sound is evolving, getting clubbier, one might say maturing. and is soon to take over stadiums.
>> WE ARE KNIGHTS
We sure like electro-tinted rock at KitsunÃ©. Typical of a certain Paris scene that generates fresh results out of tried-and-tested influences, We Are Knights craft a kind of melancholic new-wave that draws from Classics such as My Bloody Valentine and Can.
>> WOLFPACK BEARTRACK
An original lot. Based around three musicians Wolfpack Beartrack is a collective that gathers artists, graphic designers, writers and the likes. You can tell by listening to 'Modern Realm', which sounds like the Miami Vice theme produced by Yuksek with er. Eminem rapping on top, that their inspiration comes from all over. But hey, we like hip-hop too at KitsunÃ©, just not the usual kind.
We don't know a great deal about Slowdance apart from the fact that they're a Brooklyn-based band with a French singer, that they write pop tunes about love and cruelty and sound like The Smiths fronted by Anne Sylvestre (famous French 60s singer for kids), which is enough to get us interested. There is a strong Brooklyn-Paris connection these days, you know that arty rocky thing.
This supergroup is the lovechild of Chateau Marmont's Julien Galner and singer/songwriter Clara Cometti (ex-Koko Von Napoo now solo). United by a fondness for retro synths and la variÃ©tÃ© from yore, which seems so stylish compared to today's charts, these two strong characters do it all together, the writing, arranging and production.
Watch out, this is one French band with ambition. Despite their cryptical name (a play on words which means stampede) LA//KVLKD aren't a punk garage band but a bunch of musicians whose curiosity knows no limit. The way they mix introspective pop-rock and whimsical electro here is very KitsunÃ© indeed.
That French electronic sound as defined by Daft Punk's 'Discovery' has inspired a whole generation of bedroom composers (in France and beyond). Pyramid is such individual, a 21 year old student with a passion for majestic electro. Merci les Daft.