Monday, June 11, 2007

V/A - Kitsuné Maison Compilation 4 / V/A - Ed Rec Vol. 2

Imaginary or real, a lot has been said about the "nu-rave" movement. Supposedly invented by Klaxons as a joke, the expression was then adopted by the British media and got something out of control. After confusing the music press, which expected nu-rave sounds and got an (excellent) rock album, Klaxons later rejected being part of everything nu-rave related (goodbye glowsticks...or maybe not, as we ended up with more than a handful of great remixes of their songs). But that didn't stop anyone from further exploring the idea that something was happening around this term. Truth to be told, it's a fact that lately a lot of projects have adopted a maximal approach to music, specially inside the dance and electronics community, making excessive songs to inflame worldwide dancefloors. And it's also a fact that few have been doing it better than the french.
This country relationship with electronics is quite a recent one, having started already in the 1990's with the first-wave of "french-touch" and projects like Motorbass, St. Germain, Alex Gopher, Bang Bang, Rinôçérôse or Daft Punk. Thanks to those fertile years, a new generation finally grew up with a free no-complexes attitude regarding electronics and dance music and the results are now becoming visible. Surprisingly or not, the most important reference for this generation right now is probably Daft Punk and their rock-music approach to club genres like house or disco (something not far from the "nu-rave" philosophy).
Kitsuné is one of the most important labels for this generation, one also usually mentioned when analysing nu-rave. Their 4th Maison Compilation is an eclectic collection of originals and remixes, where the first idea is having no pre-conceived ideas and also no inhibitions. This means recording at full volume and looking for full-impact physical sounds. Essentially an electro collection, it also touches many other sub-genres (techno, house, hip-hop, new-wave, folk, disco) making the whole package very diverse. With some irregular results, its infections energy still makes it almost impossible to resist. (7/10) Myspace page
Irregular is not something that could be said about Ed Banger Records. Since its beginnings, this label has been one of the most consistent in today's music world, with a careful input into everything associated to its name, from music to videos or record covers. Also strongly inspired by Daft Punk, their trademark sound is funkier and more grandiose, making what could be called as maximalism statements, full of robotic voices and vocoders, infectious basslines and strong-impact metalic synthesizers, among many other rich and effective details. Destined to become huge this summer when the Justice album finally comes out, this very unified compilation serves as an excellent introduction to their explosive universe. (8/10) Myspace page

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