Maison Kitsuné has long been hailed as a reputable artist collective dedicated to breaking emerging sounds and fashions while honing talent with fetching appeal. It's hard to be disappointed by the French outpost, as its roster has included some of today's foremost talents, such as Digitalism, Cut Copy, and Boys Noize.
While compilations like Kitsuné AMERICA continue to bundle innovative producers together, the brand also serves as a platform for debut releases. Enter UK newcomer Jackson Holmes (aka Danglo), who released his debut Kitsuné EP, Spotlight, on July 28.The record houses five tracks of moody bass resonance and comes with dulcet vocal and drum placeholders. With three original tracks and two remixes, it's a spirited and insanely infectious EP. If you're a fan of bass music in general, Spotlight will fit into your weekly playlist.
While some artists look to the flock to find the recipe, Danglo's first official package was the result of a lot of thought and time spent outside of the spotlight."It was a choice more to sit down, think about what is relevant but also try to ignore everything that's going on in dance music," the producer explains. "I wanted to incorporate live vocalists and work on the songwriting process."
"I know a lot of people put mixes or singles out, and unless you have a concrete album that makes sense. However, I didn't want to send out singles. I feel like Spotlight has full vocal tracks; it has dance, house, and there's more relaxed tracks—it has three sides to it."
Music has been part of Danglo's ambitions since he was eight years old and learned how to play guitar. Then came piano and drums, which he took on in order to skip out of learning how to speak French.
Then came the molding years, the 2000s, which saw Danglo gravitating towards Playstation ("Music 2000") and Garageband. At 19, he was all about Logic and practiced away—even though no one really gave a shit, he says. It was a project for himself, and although it may have started out as a bit of trial and error approach, DJing is no quick gimmick for the 20-something year old.
"I don't want to do anything else," he says. "Those people who aim to make average music, well, their lifespan can be quite short—picked up and ditched. I want to be producing for as long as possible. I don't have a fall back plan."
From car rides listening to Neil Young to the British indie flick Human Traffic to Radiohead, Aphex Twin and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs—Danglo has drawn inspiration and admiration though multiple audiovisual realms.
Most of this generation should recall the song "Praise You" by Fatboy Slim, which is also a fond memory for the UK producer.
"I remember it was at a grade six assembly when that song came on and all of us started doing our own dance to it, reenacting the video for it. It was good fun."
Spotlight wasn't an overnight project nor something that was whipped together to get out for summer samplers, but it wasn't years in the making either. According to Danglo, it took around three months to complete.
"My rule is when you are making something if you don't have more than four hours to dedicate right away then don't do it."
The London-based artist is a real observer of production and makes some interesting points when it comes to the repetitive "DJs aren't musicians" contention that is so readily contemplated.
"DJs play other people's songs, producers make the music. Computers don't do the work, the humans are in control of the computer and the art of the soul comes from the human being. There's loads of musical merit—you can't just have a quick snare, kick drum and bassline, it has to be made into something," he explains.
But like many electro supporters, there are the obvious times where that art is lost on stage.
"When I hear too much of a backing track I get a bit depressed. When I'd see a band for example, I always watched the drummer. I think we need to think more about how we do electronic music, watch it more so that live element isn't so awkward or manufactured. The whole waving your arms thing, well it feels a bit mad to be doing something cause you have to show movement or whatever. It doesn't fit for me."
Having already supported iconic talent like M.J. Cole and previously released through Belgium imprint, Dandelion Lotus Records, Danglo's otherworldly recordings slow the commotion of the world and transcend between the underground, the steamy backseat and the solo boudoir in true feline fashion.
Jackson Holmes is in good company at Kitsuné and will be part of Kitsune's Club Nights with a highly anticipated show on August 30 at the Ageha Club in Tokyo. The bill will also feature K-favourites like Boys Get Hurt, Fakear, Digitalism and Gildas.
Maison Kitsuné also just released two summer compilations that house works from A-Trak, Classixx, Doombrance and Gigamesh.
Pick up Spotlight here.
1. Spotlight (feat. Ivan Franco)
2. Drifter (feat. Liisi Koikson)
3. Forget You
4. Drifter (The Golden Boy remix)
5. Spotlight (DE$iGNATED remix)
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