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Phoenix vs Kitsune

Phoenix take over from Digitalism to create the perfect mixtape that to date is the most sentimental release on the record label.

For the second instalment in cutting edge French label, Kitsune’s TABLOID series, those masters of effortless pop-rock, Phoenix take over from Digitalism to create the perfect mixtape. It’s a wonderfully eclectic trip through their record collections that eschews current musical trends for songs that are almost snapshots of their lives. The 18-song musical journey takes in psychedelic delights from The Red Crayola and The 13th Floor Elevators to 50’s oddities from Ritchie Valens and swoonsome ballads from Dusty Springfield and The Impressions.  The centrepiece of the record must be Lou Reed’s majestic 10-minute opus, ‘Street Hassle’, a track that nearly didn’t make it to the compilation. Far from being too-cool-for-school hipsters, this compilation shows them as guys who wear their hearts on their (stylish) sleeves. Dazed Digital spoke to Laurent Brancowitz about making this labour of love and Kitsune offer up a free download to Dazed Digital readers of one of the tracks that can be streamed below or downloaded here.

Dazed Digital: How did the collaboration with Kitsune come about?
Laurent Brancowitz: It happened in a very natural way. We’ve been working in Montmatre and that’s where the Kitsune guys are. So we kept running into them at the Pizzeria or whatever.  Then they asked us to do a compilation. For us making the compilation was like making a mixtape for friends.

DD: Do you think the art of the mixtape has been lost in an age of itunes?
LB: I don’t think so. iTunes is like a super mixtape! So I think it’s more alive than ever.

DD: What are the ingredients to making the perfect mixtape?
LB: We didn’t follow any of the rules of making a mixtape.  We wanted to have music that goes along the wavelength of your brain, we were keen to explore that dimension. It’s very low tempo music. We only chose songs that we really adore. When you do a mixtape, there’s a temptation to pick the coolest songs but we wanted songs that mean something to us. It wasn’t about the year but how close it was to our hearts.

DD: The compilation really shows the romantic side to you guys
LB: Yes but there were two aspects to the equation. It was really about the balance between the tender side and the more abstract, mystical, mathematical side.

DD: Did the making of the compilation influence the sound of your new record?
LB: Not really but the songs are really a part of who we are. So it was like opening up the book of our lives!

DD: Where is the best place to listen to this album?
LB: While driving definitely. The car was created to listen to music, very loud. So I would say while driving in a tunnel and at night.

Kitsune Tabloid by Phoenix available now on

Making of Kitsune Tabloid Video