France’s Yuksek is known as a purveyor of banging electro tunes, but this year he’s branched out into all new musical territory – a label of his own, named Partyfine. “I always wanted to create a label but never had enough time to focus on it,” he explains. “I’ve produced and worked with a lot of artists the last few years and I feel that it could be interesting to push it till the end of the creative process and produce records myself, investing time and money.” Partyfine, he says, gives him the freedom to produce and release anything he wants, the way that he wants to do it.
Partyfine aims to release a diverse array of tracks, with sounds ranging from indie and disco to electro and house. The big inspiration behind the label was James Murphy’s DFA. “I love them,” Yuksek explains, “because they manage to create a sound, not just a bunch of good artists but a real musical, artistic vision. Over the last few years, Ed Banger has had great success with some very good releases and I also really like labels like Future Classic, I’m A Cliché, Versatile, and Tricatel, who inspire me with most of their releases.”
While it’s early days, Partyfine has a number of quality releases under its belt, including ‘Peter Pan’, a sweet, glitched-out electro track featuring the vocals of JD Samson, recorded by Yuksek in his collaborative guise as Peter & The Magician. “I was contacted by JD’s manager because she was going to Europe to meet the producers for the new MEN record,” Yuksek says.
“I’m a big fan of both Le Tigre and MEN, so I was more than happy to welcome her into the studio. We wrote a track for her, which is gonna be the next single, and I gave her a listen to a song I’d been working on with my production partner Stephen [AKA The Magician]. The very next day, she sent me the vocals!”
Yuksek has thus far released two albums – 2009’s banging Away From The Sea, and 2011’s more melodic follow-up Living On The Edge Of Time. Since then, he has grown frustrated with the process of dealing with major labels, and I ask if he has plans to make and release a third at some point. “Sure, I’m thinking about it,” he tells me. “I still have a contract with Universal for another one, so I’ll keep on dealing with outside labels.” As for the future of Partyfine, it may one day be an outlet for Yuksek to release his solo work, but for now the aim is simply to keep signing, producing and releasing exciting new artists.
In matters slightly more pressing, Yuksek will be touring Australia this month to introduce fans to his new label and new tunes. An in-demand DJ, he travels the world a lot and plays in numerous different places, but has yet to fully adapt to life on the road. “Touring is totally cool and totally boring,” he says. “I mean I travel the world in business class, I meet cool people, most of them compliment me on the music I’m making. I think I’ve been in most of the countries of this planet the last four years.” At the same time, though, touring wears him out. “I feel tired a lot, even when I’ve been home for a week. It’s really hard to have a proper family life, even difficult to go to the studio sometimes.”
When I ask what we can expect from his upcoming Australian shows, Yuksek’s answer is simple. “I’ll try to send good music and love, and I hope to receive some back!”
BY ALASDAIR DUNCAN