FKJ – French Kiwi Juice [Album Review]

The debut offering from French/New Zealand native FKJ (French Kiwi Juice) provides a unique blend of soul & electronic influence that provides a platform for both relaxation and party.

Fresh off a recent Australian & New Zealand tour, which included feature shows at ‘Strawberry Fields’ in Victoria and the inaugural ‘Majestic Casual Festival’ in Sydney, the multi-instrumentalist brings forth a completely minimalist album that does not try to overcompensate with mass production. Rather, FKJ cleverly utilises the space created within each track through an emphasis on intricate percussion that draws comparisons to artists such as Frank Ocean & TA-KU.

From the first listen of ‘Skyline’, it becomes apparent FKJ is the perfect mix of Jarryd James and Glass Animals’ Dave Bayley. These vocals beautifully set the scene with the grouping of the low and high range of FKJ, being the forefront of the mix and essentially carrying the smooth charisma of the track. The percussion within ‘Skyline’ builds from an empowering introduction within the beginning verse to an artistic fill within the choruses, pulling in and out to create emphatic dramatic effect.

‘Lying Together’ centres itself around the sampled vocals, with simplistic reverbed snaps and a brooding synth progression in the beginning that lead to an upbeat, funk filled crooner. There are many elements within this track that build an astonishing soundscape, from the ‘wah’ effect within the guitar, the smooth bassline and the splashes of electronic piano coming in and out of the track.

“Now, go and do everything without heart and do it good”; a bold statement that sets an intense starting point for ‘Joy’, a funk filled delight that carries significant groove within. The saxophone is incredibly emphatic within the solo sections, where it takes the precedence it well and truly deserves. The silkiness within the bassline combined with the free-flowing percussion allows for plenty of that party vibe to come through the track.

If this debut is anything to go by, FKJ is one to watch and it will be interesting to see where the future leads this talented producer.

Rating: ★★★★☆

FKJ’s debut LP is available everywhere through Roche Musique, and North American fans can catch him live on tour via the dates below.

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author: Chris Salce

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Filed: Featured, Music News, Reviews, Streams

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