Here at Robot headquarters, it is no secret that we’re into the Kitsuné label. We’ve been supporters of theirs on the blog, and personally, for a number of years, starting with the Love compilation, on through Midnight (which introduced a lot of people to Cut Copy), X, and the Maison series. If you spend a minute or two digging around online, you’ll learn that Kitsuné isn’t just a taste-making record label, but they’re also a fashion line, and are involved in the art and gallery scene in London, Toyko, and Paris.
Anyway, a little while back I jumped at the chance when I got to ask Gildas Loaec and Mayasa Kuroki, two of the founders of the label, some questions about the label, their music, and their plans for the future.
Hit the jump for the interview…
robot Blair: How did you guys decide to start Kitsuné, and did you originally intend for it to be a multi-media venture of clothes, art, and music, or did it just evolve to that?
Gildas Loaec: Kitsuné [was] built to be a clothes brand since the start – The main idea [was] to do a good clothes label as we are doing, being sold in great stores like dover street market in London, for exemple, or in NY at Bloomingdale’s, Jeffrey, Steven Alan, etc.
RB: How long had you two been involved in music?
GL: Me, 10 years since I’ve worked with Daft Punk; Masaya more recently. When we started Kitsuné I believed he was originally a music lover.
RB: Gildas, you were involved in running the Roulé label with Thomas Bangalter, correct? Can you tell me how things have been different from Roulé to Kitsuné?
GL: Yes Roulé was Thomas’ label and Kitsuné is mine, (ours with Masaya and Åbäke). Thomas gave Roulé a great image and he is a great producer, and release mainly his own music on Roulé. At Kitsuné we got, I think, the same idea and gave the same importance for the [label’s] image, but we put every kind of music we like on Kitsuné. We want to keep doors open to release whatever we want.
RB: Gildas and Mayasa – this is for both of you, but I would like to know, separately, what each of you do as part of Kitsuné?
GL: I take care of the music part, Masaya does the clothes line. Our partner in London Åbäke are doing the wonderful imagery [and all the album + 12″ covers].
RB: Can you tell me something about the artwork the Maison series has had? How did you connect with Åbäke? How long have you worked with Åbäke?
GL: Abake are Kitsuné co-owner and founder like Gildas & Masaya. They are have worked on the Kitsuné artwork since the very first covers till now. They are the best graphic designers on earth (I think)!
RB:Now, I know you and Mayasa DJ together, but do either of you produce music of your own?
GL: We have DJed together a bit everywhere, worldwilde, for the last 2 years. We just did a one-minute-length track for the magazine Visionaire for their next issue.
RB: With the Maison series, it seems as though the label has been headed in a particular direction for the last couple of years – do you see this trend towards the combination of house and “rock” music have any more steam left in it, or do you see Kitsuné going in another direction soon?
GL: I try to answer the best of my understanding of the question (sorry I’m bad in English). We really just want to release the music we like on Kitsuné. It is a bit like when we dj, we like to enternain the people, so that people have a good time we play some stuff people know, and sometimes we play something new but still fun. On the label it is the same idea, the music we enjoy, but that people will want to hear.
RB: You seem to have quite the knack for selecting songs and artists that are either well known and loved, or are known only to a select handful of DJs and people within a particular scene, and bringing them to a much wider audience – for example, from Maison 4, the hidden Phones track from his 10” (I bought that single as soon as I could get my hands on it), and the Boyz Noise remix of Feist, are both songs that I’m very happy to have more people know about – can you tell me how you have been able to do so well in this for so long?
GL: Thank you for the nice words! Really first we want to please ourselves and the Kitsuné followers, then we have a strong network. And since DJs love to play our records, hopefully that is another opportunity for the music to get to a wider audience.
RB: I know Maison 4 has just come out recently, but can you give me and my readers any ideas as to what to expect from Kitsuné in the future? More compilations? Will you continue with the Maison compilation-series and 12”s? Has Kitsuné put out anything by any Japanese artists, and if not, can we expect any on the label any time soon?
GL: Coming through Kitsuné soon: some Rex the dog (mad clubby track), an entire album of Cazals, and oh yes, the incredible Digitalism still of course! [Ed. keep yer eye on us on that front] Plus tons of remixes for clubs and the DJs. Regarding japenese artists, we’ve already put out Towa Tei, Shinichi Osawa, and Fantastic Plastic Machine, and we are talking to different artists there still, so more will happen for sure.
RB: Finally, when will you be coming to NYC again to DJ?
GL: Might be in august!
So that’s it for now… keep your eyes peeled for something from Digitalism!