French label Kitsuné has a relatively long and successful history of releasing compilation and remix albums of indie pop/electro acts.  Their latest offering is Parisien II which features only French artists, much of who are unknown.  Among the fourteen tracks, there are both male and female fronted acts, guitar based indie, electro-pop, dance instrumentals and some songs that crossover or amalgamate all of these genres.

The compilation starts well with ‘So Long My Love’, a minimal electro-pop track from the band Tomorrow’s World. It features spacey wooziness over a dull punctuating beat and some lovely female vocals. Other tracks that are of the same ilk are Birkii’s ‘Holy War’ which is like cheesy TV montage-friendly music and Owlle’s ‘Free’(Parisien Mix) which sounds way too much like Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Spectrum’s ‘Exotica’ is another bouncy electro cut but is ultimately The Knife-lite.

The guitar based bands that feature take most of their influences from indie pop/rock acts like Two Door Cinema Club, Friendly Fires or fellow Frenchmen, Phoenix. ‘Ambitions’ by Juveniles is a good example of the crossover between beats and stabbing guitars that is common on the album. It is not, however, as good as ‘Angelina’ by Nameless which has dancefloor written all over it from the music down to the lyrics: "Please, you should be dancing with me. You got it all, Angelina." One of the most memorable songs of the compilation comes courteous of Wolfpack Beartrack and their song ‘Modern Realm’. Again, it is guitar focused but with a lot of bleepy electro goodies which makes it a bit Enter Shikari (in the best possible way). Half way through, out of nowhere, rapper Pierre Stoner turns up which is just plain weird, but at least it keeps you on your toes. ‘Tiger Evolution’ is another one of the better tracks and is by the raucous act, About The Girl. It sounds like a bit a mess with its epic intro and shouty Bjork style vocals, but it is charmingly chaotic and catchy.

There are a few slower songs influenced by dance that feature synth atmospherics. ‘Zephyr’ by LA//KVLKD uses an auto-tune style voice á la Daft Punk, some decent beats and string sections. Beataucue’s ‘Kiho’ sounds more Ibiza than Paris and ‘The Race’ by Pyramid puts a nice all electro full stop on the end of the record. There are a number of largely unmemorable tracks such as ‘Airports’ by Slowdance and ‘Tears’ by We Are Knights that do little to enhance the album’s character.

Parisien II is a pretty consistent compilation record. There are no major standouts and no complete misfires. Granted, some songs are better than others but there isn’t anything particularly offensive to the listener either. In other words, it is a really average album. I can’t see any of the artists that are being showcased here becoming the ‘next big thing’, but maybe I’m just a cynical Brit.