Reims lies just 80 miles northeast of Paris in the French countryside, its biggest claim to fame is it’s one of France’s most notable champagne producing areas. But Reims also holds another secret — a secret that many people probably wouldn’t associate with the gothic-looking city — a burgeoning electronic music scene.
The city in recent years has given birth to some of France’s most exciting electronic producers including Brodinski, The Shoes, and more.
At the forefront of this city’s scene is Pierre-Alexandre Bosson, better known by his stage name Yuksek. During his 10-year music career he's remixed everyone from Lady Gaga to Chromeo to Justice.
And has also collaborated with fellow Reims native Brodinski, under the name The Krays; Belgium’s The Magician, as Peter & The Magician; and more recently with Alex Metric, as The Alexanders.
As well as an amazing CV of remixes and a host of interesting collaborations, Yuksek has released two full-length albums. His first, 2009’s ‘Away From The Sea’, is arguably the last great French electro album, and more recently ‘Living On The Edge of Time’, a stylised indie album that showcases Bosson’s unique ability as a singer and songwriter.
For the last couple of years though, Bosson has been concentrating on a new project: Partyfine Records. Setup by Bosson in April 2013, the label has grown to become one France’s most exciting labels. With hard-edged electro seemingly dying out from dance music’s overground consciousness, Partyfine has picked up the torch once held by Pedro Winter’s Ed Banger Records, pushing France’s electronic music scene forward with a unique blend of preened disco-pop, intelligent indie and thudding club music.
In just over two years, the label has released 15 EPs from some France’s most exciting producers including Clarens, Juveniles, Black Yaya and Get A Room, as well as picking up artists from further a field too, including Denmark’s Oh Land and Belgium’s The Magician.
With Partyfine having just released its second compilation this month, featuring exclusive tracks from the label’s burgeoning roster, DJ Mag managed to grab 10 minutes with Yuksek to pick his brains about Partyfine, its early success, what inspired him to create his own label and how his new album is progressing.
Hello Pierre-Alexandre, your label Partyfine is about to turn two years old — did you think it would be so successful so soon?
"I don't know about the success but the project keeps me really excited, I’ve met many interesting and talented people and it's a constant work in progress."
Which labels past and present inspired you to setup your own label?
"I have a huge respect for DFA, also F Communication (a label originally founded by Laurent Garnier), Future Classics, XL Recordings... basically labels that have built their own sound and discovered major new talents."
When you were considering creating the label - did you have an idea who you’d like to have on it?
"It started when I produced Juvenile's album, we worked a lot with Jean Sylvain, and wrote some songs for his record and more. The time we had together was really exciting - so I decided to create something around this feeling."
How long does it take to compile the compilation?
"A couple of months, most of the artists send me some new songs. I choose which one and we finish them, we then nail the track we’ve chosen at my studio in Reims!"
You’ve released over 15 EPs from a variety of artists. Do you think you’ll move into doing album releases in the near future?
"Yes, for sure! Tepr is working on a long format, Clarens and Poom, too. And my next record will be on Partyfine as well."
What do you look for in an artist when you’re considering signing them? Do you have to have personally know them beforehand, or do you just judge the music on merit?
"It's really about music and friendship, I could sign any music, any genre but never from an asshole."
How many people work with you on the label? Do you have team around you that helps you out with the marketing, art direction etc?
"Around four people, who also work for other artist's labels like mine, they’re called Grand Management, and they’re really cool and help me out a lot."
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start his or her own label?
"Be ready to lose your money."
How’s your new album coming along? Have you decided on a direction yet?
"It's doing well at the moment, it's very soul in a way, pop and a slice of disco and space, really synthetic and organic at the same time."
Do you think any of the tracks on the compilation that will be getting their own releases, with remixes perhaps?
"Yes, most of them, and videos too."
Partyfine Volume 2 is out now via Partyfine Records. Buy it here.