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Compilations - Issue 591

Displaced Soundtracks Vol. 2

Various

Displaced Soundtracks Vol. 2

Life and Death

Immersive soundscapes
8.5
Released on DJ Tennis’ excellent Life And Death imprint, volume two of the Displaced Soundtracks series once again asks artists to weave compositions that soundtrack an imaginary short film. By the time you’re done here, you’ll want to climb into the world each DJ so effectively conjures. Standing at a mere eight tracks, each soundscape is meticulous and fascinating at every turn. There are brooding, gorgeous cuts from Midland and Uchi, the latter powered by swirling sonics and warped choral voices, while DJ Nobu’s ‘Spring’ is as relentless and mind-bending and obscure as anything he might play out in a live capacity. ‘Fottimi’ by Cosmo is an unexpected rocket that ends the compilation in perplexing and brilliant gabba territory, yet it’s Scuba that delivers the pick of the bunch, his futuristic ‘Love Theme’ an addictive mix of melancholy and hypnotism.
Lee Wakefield
Leon Vynehall - DJ-Kicks

Leon Vynehall

DJ-Kicks

!K7

Instant classic
9.0
Leon Vynehall doesn’t do things by half. Take his ‘Nothing is Still’ artist album from 2018: it was a hugely ambitious conceptual work that employed a ten-piece string section, came with an accompanying novella and some standout videography. His entry in to the DJ-Kicks series is just as adventurous and finds the artist delve deep into his personal musical history. It turns up some of the club music you would expect, but also a wealth of other, seemingly disparate scenes: industrial, soul, dancehall and ambient all make for an interesting and emotionally moving first half hour before things gradually turn more dancey. When they do, it’s still in a thoughtful fashion. Though the artist himself says he favours selection over everything, tracks are still blended, dropped in or tightly mixed throughout, which in itself adds an extra layer of dynamism and find tempos rising and falling throughout. On paper, a mix that manages to be heartbroken and forlorn, gloomy and gritty, euphoric and blissed out all in the space of 80 minutes might seem too much. But in the hands of someone as meticulous as Vynehall, it makes for a fascinating musical story that is unlikely to ever age.
Kristan J Caryl
Kitsuné Parisien

Various

Kitsuné Parisien

Kitsune

A&R excellence
7.5
Kitsuné has always stood at a chic junction between music and fashion, straddling indie-pop, electronic music and visual art for approaching 20 years. Responsible for dozens of compilations during that time, ‘Kitsuné Parisien’ represents a soft reboot of the series it launched back in 2011 (actually its fifth instalment), also accompanied by a rather gorgeous visual refresh for the brand. For any other label this might be considered a shallow thing to focus on, though for Kitsuné it’s markedly different; the boundaries between music, fashion and design have long ceased to exist. ‘Kitsuné Parisien’ won’t win over anyone not already enamoured with the label’s staple pop-electronic crossover sounds, though the amount of fresh talent they’ve A&R’d here truly is impressive, with a deft balance of undiscovered talent and rising hype acts plus a special focus on French-speaking outfits like Equateur and Gabriel.
Angus Paterson