ROBERT JAMES (AKA ROBERT MCCOMISKY) Occupation Hot young house hope busting straight outta Leeds. Leeds, you say, have they got a decent dance scene then? Yorkshire in general certainly does, going right back to the beginnings of club culture. Names like LFO, Utah Saints and Nightmares on Wax came from the scene while the legendary Warp records was founded in Sheffield, not forgetting clubs such as Back to Basics and The Orbit who helped shape the dancefloors we know today.
How does Robert James fit into all of this? One of the new breed of house heads with a selection of releases on Lee Foss (who coincidently played Rendezvous in November just gone) and Jamie Jones’ new Hot Creations label. ‘Leeds has a wicked vibe. It’s like Ibiza but cold,’ James recently told DJ Magazine. ‘There are so many nights, parties and after-parties all the time. There are a lot of good DJs and wicked nights, from the legendary Back to Basics to Mono_Cult and newcomers Louche. There’s something for everyone. I love Leeds.’ Right I’m booking my train ticket now, but what can we expect when he comes to us? He’s honed his skills at The Mint Club and My House in his native Leeds (obviously) and Zoo Project and Space in Ibiza so he knows how to create set, fond of dropping in 80s samples, deep disco house grooves and the odd techy beat. See his team up with Burnski on their co-produced Malibu EP for evidence.
Sounds like a good way to start 2011’s clubbing, what else is going on at this Rendezvous date? More quality house from Blair and Ryan Horrower while Cheap Picasso (aka Adam le Chic and SlimWhiteTrash) will be holding down the fort in the bar area with ‘their own interpretation of disco, 80s synths and house.’ (Henry Northmore) ■ Rendezvous at The Lane, Edinburgh, Sat 8 Jan.
38 THE LIST 6–20 Jan 2011
FRENCH ELECTRO-HOUSE YUKSEK Death Disco at the Arches, Glasgow, Sat 15 Jan
French electro-house DJ Yuksek didn’t take the most obvious route into his current career. ‘I studied piano at the French conservatoire for ten years,’ he says, ‘and after that I played bass and sang vocals in a few bands. Then I started going to clubs with a friend in the mid-90s, this was the beginning of the rave scene in France. I just thought, yeah, this is really fun, and I started to produce stuff like that.’ Although his style absolutely fits in
with the French Touch sound pioneered in Paris by the likes of Daft Punk, Pierre-Alexandre Busson (who chose the name Yuksek because he thought it looked good and was meaningless, until he discovered it translates as ‘high’ in Turkish) is from Reims in the Champagne-Ardennes region. ‘I like that I still live here,’ he says. ‘I travel quite a lot, so I like to have a nice quiet place to come back to.’ It also no doubt comes in handy when he needs peace to get on with his extensive remix work, with Lady Gaga, Phoenix, Gorillaz and Scotland’s Shitdisco among many who have enjoyed a Yuksek rework.
Currently he’s between albums, so the live set which accompanied last year’s debut album Away From the Sea has been replaced by a DJ set for the moment. ‘I’m pleased with the new record,’ he says, ‘there are more actual songs on it, with more singing from me on all the tracks. It depends on the crowd how my DJ set goes for now, though. It can be disco and house or more electronic, or even some rock if it feels like that kind of night.’ (David Pollock)
PSYCHEDELIC & GARAGE ROCK EYES WIDE OPEN Blackfriars, Glasgow, Fri 7 Jan
‘This night will be our New Year celebration take two,’ says Holly Calder, promoter of Glasgow psych-rock-freakbeat night Eyes Wide Open. ‘Our friends are going to be scattered around all over at Hogmanay, so this will be a nice way to bring everyone back together. People will have spent a week at home, they’ll be going a bit stir crazy and getting ready to party.’
Having just celebrated their sixth birthday in December, Eyes Wide Open are now solidly established on the Glasgow scene as a club with a youthful outlook and an expansive, enthusiast’s take on classic styles. Usually the night involves a live guest, but Calder’s hedging her bets a little on the year’s first night by just presenting a pair of
guest DJs. ‘We’ve got Jennifer Dishington,’ she says, ‘who’s involved in a pre-club night called Grow Your Own, which is at Black Sparrow and plays the same kind of psychedelic music we do. A guy called Aitor Ciarsolo from Get the Records On at the Art School will also be here, he’s relatively new to DJing too, but he’s got some great garage records. They’re both up and coming local talents, basically.’
After this low-key opener, the next year is set to get very busy for EWO. They’re planning on starting a label in association with Starla Records, which will release records by friends of the club Teaspoon and The Fast Camels, and then their first weekender is planned for October. ‘Kind of like Glasgow’s Mod Weekender,’ says Calder, ‘but also inspired by a few of the events we’ve DJed at in Europe, and aimed at a slightly younger crowd.’ (David Pollock)