The eighth compilation in the Kitsune label's series of demi-label/scene samplers is called the "Chic and Nice" issue -- and it would have been amusing if they had just gone for a bunch of Nile Rodgers/Bernard Edwards compositions. As it is, it's an understandably enjoyable slice of the peppy put-it-all-together dance-for-blogging-fiends sounds the label happily encourages, a sound for the mashed-up descendants of the DFA, Daft Punk, Andrew W.K., and any number of similar strains of beat-friendly indie pop types. (Not for nothing does Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos make a guest appearance, remixing Chew Lips' "Salt Air" by starting with a spare, haunted, yet strangely pretty slow burn shifting into a nervous, commanding stomp.) It might not be surprising in the end that songs like the Drums' "Let's Go Surfing" and Delphic's "This Momentary" could themselves have come from a two-decade-earlier jam session between Unrest, Factory Records remixes, and Swedish dance-rock fiends -- if there's a sense of history repeating, what's even more enjoyable is how these recombinations still feel firmly "now", whether it's in the unabashed kick of the beats or the sheer exuberance on display throughout. As might be expected, not everything fully connects, or otherwise fills in time without standing out from the crowd, such as enjoyable enough tracks by acts like Beni and Two Door Cinema Club, a new Kitsune signing that in the Moulinex remix of "I Can Talk" feels like an anthem not fully able to let go in the chorus. But while Memory Tapes' "Bicycle" almost steals the show with a pitch perfect Robert Smith-in-1986 guitar break, Le Corps Mince de Francoise is the overall standout with "Something Golden," which rides a "is it art, is it pop, is it dance? Who cares?" collage of vocals and melodies and more in ways that constantly resist easy summary.
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett