French Producer/DJ Yuksek, or Pierre Alexandre Busson to his friends, has been the toast of the blogosphere for the last year or so thanks to his frantic DJ sets and ear melting remixes. Retouching acts as varied as Ghostface Killah, Mika & Kaiser Chiefs has made the ears of many dance fans curious to hear his full-length debut.
Unfortunately, the result is less than tempting. In a world without Justice, Soulwax & Simian Mobile Disco, 'Away From The Sea' would sound like a fresh, much needed, shot in the arm for dance music. However, the reality is that we do have all of the above artists and they are, and have been, releasing far better albums for much longer.
Even assembling a gang of fantastic collaborators can't stop this album from sounding slightly stale. On 'So Down', Chromeo add a touch of their distinctive '80s sheen, but the track still feels slightly flat. Despite possessing one of the funkiest bass lines of recent years, it's nowhere near the class of Chromeo's own output.
On album highlight 'Extraball'; Spank Rock's Amanda Blank livens up the track with her irresistible flow while Yuksek backs her with outrageously filthy beats and a few riffs stolen from Daft Punk. Shitdisco also pop up on 'This Is Not Today', their layered vocal harmonies combine with the electro-by-numbers melody.
The problem with this record is that it's just not very easy to digest. Heavy distorted beats relentlessly flow during the majority of the album. While I'm sure it would sound great under the influence, in the cold light of day it's far less tempting. Just like the "new best friends" you discover at a party, you're sure to disown this fairly quickly.
It's questionable why anyone would want to listen to this when you can hear Justice do this kind of thing infinitely better. If you open your fridge and see steak and Tesco Value sausages, which one are you going to choose?