What is it about French culture that inspires so many great dance music acts? Perhaps it was the revolutionary spirit of their forefathers that inspired Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter to break away from the French House-music scene and join forces and introduce the world to Daft Punk in 1995. Perhaps it is the smug contentment of the French with their own cultural achievements that has created so many who have followed in their footsteps (Justice, Busy P, Mr. Oizo, etc.). Whatever it is, with the recent release of his first full-length album "Away From The Sea", Pierre-Alexandre Busson (aka Yuksek) has perpetuated my belief that all of the best Electro music still comes from Europe.
Yuksek's musical journey began in his youth with daily piano lessons the eventually led him to become a music teacher. Though a self-proclaimed fan of pop for most of his life, Yuksek was inevitably exposed to electronic music. When asked about his initial impression, he remembered thinking that, “compared to pop, it had a freedom about it.” This freedom is apparent in "Away From The Sea" which is varied in its composition. The songs range from the pumping electro beat-riddled tracks like "Break Ya" and "I Like To Play," reminiscint of Boys Noize, to the more poppy "So Far Away," a collaboration with The Bewitched that hints of MGMT. Also notable is the synth-laden "I Could Never Be A Dancer," a powerful instrumental with it's 1980s synth riffs. Other collaborations include "Extraball" with Amanda Blank, "This Is Not Today" with Shit Disco, and my personal favorite, "So Down," featuring Chromeo.
The album is varied but consistent, tried but refreshing. And most importantly a lot of fun to dance to, and definitely worth a listen. Check it out.