Francois Kevorkian makes his Scottish debut at Klub Club, Glasgow on Sun 16 Nov
DJ FRANCOIS KEVORKIAN has been spinning the disks for almost 25 years. He has made over 800 records. This may be your first and last chance to hear him play in Scotland. Words: Jim Byers
The story of how, when and where house music started is a complex. Its 25 year history is shrouded in mystery and myth.
The same names always pop up: Larry Levan, Walter Gibbons, David Mancuso. Ron Hardy, as do the same clubs: Paradise Garage. Zanzibar. The Loft. The Shelter. The Warehouse. But there are no hard facts.
One man who knows more than most —— because he was there as house happened — is Francois Kevorkian. His involvement in dance music runs in almost perfect parallel with its entire evolution from disco to drum ’n’ bass. He is a living legend.
Born in France in 1954. it was in New York — the city he moved to in 1975 — that Kevorkian began his musical career. in the mid 70s. he was one of several DJs experimenting with disco. adding new elements like extra percussion and exclusive ‘edits’ or. as they came to be known. remixes.
His first job was as a percussionist at the Galaxy 21 club. where Walter Gibbons was resident. He gained valuable experience. though no DJ work. before moving to Experimental Four. where the resident was John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez. One night. the big break came: Jellybean was unable to DJ. so Kevorkian filled in.
Kevorkian went on to be integral to New York‘s
80 THE "ST 7 Nov—20 Nov l99/
Francois Kevorkian's involvement in dance music has run in perfect parallel with its evolution from disco to drum 'n' bass. He is a living legend.
club scene, playing twelve-hour sets at all the legendary house clubs. You name~drop it. he was there.
He also landed an A&R position at. key label of the time. Prelude Records -- a job which allowed his career as a producer and remixer to ﬂourish. But in 1983. with so much studio work to do. Kevorkian decided to st0p DJing. In the period that followed. he worked with most of the key acts of the era. including U2. Kraftwerk, INXS. The Eurythmics. Depeche Mode, The Cure and Pet Shop Boys.
In 1986, he set up Axis Studios. now New York‘s premier recording studios. later establishing his own label. Wave, releasing an album by Floppy Sounds and his own FK EP.
Returning to DJing in 199]. Keyorkian plays alongside .loe Claussell and Danny Krivit at New York’s Body & Soul. He plays semi-regularly in Japan and ltaly. but UK visits are rare. Indeed. this is Kevorkian‘s first ever Scottish date -- one that he is looking forward to. ‘l‘ve heard so many good things about Glasgow.‘ he says.
This man. who has influenced almost every single development in modern dance music. is still constantly pushing forward. ‘At the moment. I‘m
really trying consciously to break up the nights so i
you don’t get that atrocious. monotonous. mediocre blend of thumping repetitive beats all night.‘ he says.
‘I let records fade. I put Latin things on. I put hip hop
on. I go back to some house. maybe a little drum ‘n‘ bass . . . anything I feel. as long as the crowd will let
me. I’m ready to take it as far as it goes in terms of
being adventurous with the music.‘
Francois Kevorkian makes his first ever Scottish appearance at Klub Club, the Sub Club, Glasgow, Sun 16 Nov. Musique Tropique, who support, will be playing live for the first time.
The latest gossip from clubland.
BIG BEAT, OWNERS of Tunnel, Cul De Sac etc, are rumoured to be in talks with Liverpool’s Cream, with a view to buying the name and instigating Big Beat operating practices. Figures of £3 million are being bandied about. Watch this space.
SOMA ARE IN the process of setting up a new label to deal with local talent in the fields of hip hop, drum ’n’ bass and weird electronica. Headed by Paul Cawley (Phar Out) the label will be called Psy-phi records and they're looking for demos. Material should be sent to him at Soma, 2nd floor, 22 Jamaica Street, Glasgow, G1 400.
EVER WANTED TO see what producers do in the studio? If so, spend your Saturday afternoons in the CCA on Sauchiehall Street to see Vodershow, the new band made up of Jilkes, Hatch, Twitch and James Seenan, who have been working away for the Waves In, Particles Out season. A single will be released shortly.
THE VAULTS lN Edinburgh is set to re-open after several months of protracted licensing problems. Saturdays will be Charlie Chester's Red On Red night, featuring a variety of 'big name’ guests. Graeme Park gets the ball rolling on Saturday 8 November, followed by the likes of Nigel Benn, Paul ’Trouble' Anderson, Roger Sanchez, Sasha and Jeremy Healy — all before Christmas. According to venue management, money has been spent and changes have been made to the club, in particular to the toilets and to the top bar area which may open till 3am - with 015 — as a pub from Sunday to Thursday. Details for the Friday nights — which may feature a slightly harder music policy - are yet to be confirmed. (Rory Weller and Jim Byers)
Paul ’Trouble' Anderson: coming to the Vaults soon