Interview: Finesse Records is Getting New, Exquisite, and Worldwide

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Finesse Records initially started off as a digital platform to spread the word about Mexican producers Teen Flirt and Ezekiel’s latest work among their friends back in 2012. They wanted to reach more people than those who came to their house parties, which usually hosted up to 50 people max.

Ever since then, Finesse Records has evolved in many ways. By the beginning of 2012, they were flirting with all kinds of sounds, be it hip-hop, indie pop, straight up electro or balearic house. Later on, they were one of the first crowds to support the sugar-rushed pre-hispanic noise made by their Mad Decent moombah-star and paisano, Javier Estrada. However, at some point, they decided to move on to other more sophisticated cadences highly influenced by future house and the new global bass scene.

This change in aesthetic was reflected not only in their music releases, but also in their body of work, most evidently in their graphic image. We decided to give them a call and see what’s been going on and, ultimately, find out what the hell these regiomontanos are up to for 2014.

Finesse used to offer an eclectic palette of sounds predominantly from Mexico, but later evolved to be a “future-guided” netlabel focused on promoting leading edge electronic music from around the world. Tell us about this change…

Well, we’ve always supported what we like, our close friends, and those projects that we knew just had to be exposed out there.

The evolution of the musical curation of the label had a lot to do with the evolution of the crew itself, due to the integration of new members, and the changes of our own personal musical tastes. It came to a point where we all secretly had side-projects which was when we decided to redirect the premise and concept to: “The new, the weird, the unreleased.”

Will we hear rock pop or traditional house come from the Finesse roster ever again?

We’re always looking to combine sounds and genres. At the end of the day, our best friends have indie rock or house projects, so we never lose contact with —that important side of— the Mexican scene. We’ve actually planned a series of compilations called Finesse Club Compilations that will include these rhythms, designed for the dancefloor.

So, Finesse’s new season includes a very stylish extreme makeover…

While we were planning our second season we met Daniel Ceballos who, besides delighting us with amazing EPs and remixes under the moniker of 1OO1O, took over the identity and graphics of Finesse. We thought it was cool to have our image administered by an artist that understood this new stage of our label, so the redesign and the line of this season are being done by him in its entirety, and the results have been great.

How does the label currently operate?

Everybody does all kinds of things. At this moment, Ezekiel has been busy with his personal projects and his career as a producer, which has clearly been paying off. If we had to define our roles it would be something like this:

Teen Flirt is the director of Finesse, he’s in charge of setting the goals and has the last word when it comes to directive aspects.

1OO1O is now in charge of the web communication and design of the label.

Cruz Lee takes care of things getting done. He is the production director and all alternative projects.

And last but not least, Adrian Be is Finesse’s A&R, he’s in charge of discovering, listening and hooking up new magnificent releases for Finesse.

Does Finesse get involved with the musical videos of the roster?

Not really, Finesse is DIY-based, so our artists take care of the production of their materials and we take care of getting it to the public and promoting it amongst our media partners.

What does your musical curation consist of? Do you follow hunches or established aesthetics?

We love music, and each of us have a variety of tastes, but we believe that the parameters and aesthetics were more than clear this last season. You can tell how our personal musical taste points towards bass and futuristic stuff.

Do you get a lot of demos or do you hand-pick Finesse’s talent?

We get a lot of demos and we search for more. We have a “sharing group” of sorts, which is where we share our findings and decide on who to get in touch with.

So, if I’m a producer or designer and I want to collaborate with you guys, what’s the best way to approach to Finesse Records?

Send your (music) proposal to: demos [at] finesse [dot] mx. We’re always up-to-date with that e-mail.

Are there any other labels based in Latin America that you admire and respect?

Our favorites at the moment are: Ten Toes Turbo, Diamante Records, NAAFI, Electrique Music, Lowers and PIR▲.MD.

And lastly, what’s the next step for Finesse Records?

New music in physical format, merchandise, tours, collaborations, etc. We suggest you stay tuned through our social networks, which is where you’ll find out about everything Finesse.

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