Fireside Chat

François K

HouseDiscoFeature
60 mins|First aired 27 Feb 2016Next Fireside Chat Today at 9:00pm EDT
Lauren Gesswein

The iconic producer/DJ/engineer guides us through his impressive career: From New York disco history to Kraftwerk and beyond.

You just don’t know where to start with François Kevorkian. If there ever was a DJ/producer/engineer that deserved a monograph, it is probably him and his multi-faceted career. Born and raised in France and often referred to as François K, the will to follow his vocation as a drummer brought him to New York City in 1975. From playing in R&B cover bands he soon was hired to drum along with the DJs’ records. Walter Gibbons, Galaxy 21, Flamingo, John “Jellybean” Benitez and New York New York are just a few of the names that took him off the ground. Studio editing and mixing was the next step, and after a series of influential disco edits and medleys, K landed an A&R job at Prelude, a small indie disco label that quickly became one of the biggest. During his time at Prelude, Kevorkian remixed the majority of Prelude’s club classics like Musique, D-Train or The Strikers, and helped define the dance music aesthetic with signings like Powerline or “Disco Circus” by Martin Circus. As a DJ he continued to work at seminal clubs like Studio 54, The Loft, Zanzibar and the Paradise Garage, while collaborating with its resident DJ Larry Levan. By the mid-‘80s, François K had become an in-demand top remixer and producer on both sides of the Atlantic. With his own company Axis Productions, François K touched many new wave acts such as Yazoo and Wide Boy Awake, as well as U2, Thomas Dolby, The Cure, Eurythmics, Ashford and Simpson, Mick Jagger, Diana Ross or Arthur Russell’s Dinosaur L, and mixed albums and singles for Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode or Erasure. Fast-forward to 1996 and the legendary Sunday afternoon party that is Body & Soul. True to the spirit of NYC spots like the Paradise Garage, Kevorkian gathered Joe Claussell and Danny Krivit around him to give their musical visions a home. Much like his NYC weekly club residency Deep Space that focuses on dub music in its various forms on every Monday night, Kevorkian doesn’t seem to get tired of purchasing new and exciting music, while running his independent record label Wave, remixing artists and playing clubs around the world. Passions never grow old.

Credits:

Interview by Gerd Janson
Written and produced by Frank Westerkamp

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