- François Kevorkian
François Kevorkian, alias "François K", (born
January 10, 1954) is a French DJ, remixer, producer and record labelowner of Armenian descent living in the US. Having started his career in renowned clubs such as the Paradise Garageand Studio 54, the NYC-resident is widely considered as one of the forefathers of house music.
Born and raised in
France, Kevorkian's passion for music led to playing the drums during his teen years. He moved to the United Statesin 1975, where he hoped to find more challenging situations than those back home. Due to the heavy competition for any gig as a drummer in those days, he instead tried his hand at becoming a DJ in underground New York Cityclubs, around 1976. His career then skyrocketed, and he quickly made this his full-time occupation, although some work was at more commercial venues such as the club New York, New York in 1977. He taught himself tape editingand started making disco medleys, some of which are still popular to this day, such as Rare Earth's "Happy Song". He was offered a position doing A&Rfor a nascent dance indie record label, Prelude Records, which allowed to him to go into the studio and do remixes. His first remix, of a Patrick Adamsproduction, "In The Bush" by Musique became a wild success both in clubs and on the radio. It was the first of many remixes that helped Prelude define the sound of New York's dance music, including many memorable songs, including "You're The One For Me' and "Keep On" by D-Train, and "Beat The Street" by Sharon Redd. His stint at Prelude ended in 1982, the same year where he had the most number one singles in Billboard's Dance Music Chart, which included his remixes of now-classic songs such as "Situation" by Yazoo, and "Go Bang" by Dinosaur L.
During that time, he was privileged enough to play as a guest DJ at such legendary venues as the
Paradise Garage, The Loft, Better Days, Studio 54, Les Mouches, Buttermilk Bottom, and AM-PM, as well as a residency at New Jersey's Club Zanzibar on Fridays for over a year. The great success of his remixes led him to record producing, and his first work was the "Snake Charmer" EP for Island Records, utilizing an all-star cast of Jah Wobble, The Edge, Holger Czukay, and Jaki Liebezeit. His career as a remixer and producer led him to work or collaborate with many more mainstream artists, such as Eurythmics, Diana Ross, U2, Kraftwerk, Mick Jagger, Ashford & Simpson, The Cure, Midnight Oil, Jimmy Cliff, Foreigner, Jean Michel Jarre, Jan Hammer, The Fatback Band, Bunny Wailer, The Smiths, Pet Shop Boys, Cabaret Voltaire, and culminated in his involvement in mixing all of Kraftwerk's 1986 studio album, " Electric Café". He mixed Depeche Modebiggest-selling album, "Violator" as well as many of their 12" club remixes.
During this time he decided to build his own recording studio, Axis Studios, which ironically shared the same building as Studio 54. It quickly turned into a major commercial operation. Due to the pressures of studio work, he had abandoned DJing around 1983 to dedicate himself to recording and mixing full-time, but couldn't stay away from the turntables, and started spinning again in early 1990. The scene had really become much more international, and he quickly was able to start traveling and gaining much exposure overseas, including Japan. He toured Japan, DJ'ing with
Larry Levanin the Summer of 1992 (the 'Harmony Tour') right before Levan's death in November of that same year. The demand for his DJ appearances led him to start traveling to many of the best club venues around the world, including London's 'Ministry Of Sound' and 'Fabric', Japan's 'Spacelab Yellow', Ibiza's ' Pacha' and 'Space', as well as Italy's 'Angels Of Love' and many large-scale festivals.
By 1995, he decided to start an eclectic independent record label,
Wave Musicwhich allowed him to find an outlet for his own creative endeavours, including the [http://www.wavemusic.com/wave-release/24 FK-EP] , as well as signing records by [http://www.wavemusic.com/wave-artist/12 Abstract Truth] , [http://www.wavemusic.com/wave-artist/1 Floppy Sounds] and a slew of other electronic music releases. Then in 1996, he (along with partner John Davis) became involved in starting what arguably became one of New York's most revered weekly parties, [http://www.bodyandsoul-nyc.com/ Body&SOUL] which took place every Sunday afternoon at Club Vinyl (6 Hubert Street), playing along with co-resident DJs Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell and Danny Krivit for a mixed crowd of ecstatic and faithful dancers from all over the world. The 'Body&SOUL' sound, a unique soulful mix of very organic and spiritual dance music grooves, led to the release of a successful [http://www.wavemusic.com/wave-search/?terms=body+and+soul compilation series] by the same name.
His career as an artist did not stop evolving, as he rekindled his interest for a more electronic sound, and the release of his [http://www.sonar.es/portal/eng/music.cfm?id_sonarmusic=15 Sonar Music set] in 2002 marked a turning point; he started playing a much edgier and futuristic style, with more to do with
Technoand Dub than the House sound he was mostly identified with as a DJ until that time. In 2002, he also started touring along with Detroit Techno legend Derrick May, playing sets together as the 'Cosmic Twins'. His recent appearances at Berlin's [http://www.tresorberlin.com/ Tresor] , Manchester's Sankey's Soap and London's Fabric have helped gain him many younger fans that may not have been aware of his previous work, which in turn has led to the timely Summer 2006 release of his newest compilation CD, entitled ' [http://www.wavemusic.com/wave-release/207 Frequencies] ', (Wavetec), which takes the listener on a grand tour of the types of electronic music sounds he has been championing of late, from Electro and Minimal to 'big-room' House and Techno.
In April 2003, he started a residency at a new weekly Monday night event in New York City called [http://www.deepspacenyc.com/index.php Deep Space NYC] , which focuses on Dub in all of its forms, and where the format is extremely eclectic, ranging from spaced-out Techno to the deepest
Reggae, Dubstep, Hip-Hop as well as Drum & Bass, House musicand Disco. His recent musical output has him mixing Deep Space NYC Vol. 1, a compilation featuring several of his own original productions (along with Jamaican dub legends Mutabarukaand U-Roy); he also recently did notable remixes for Moloko, Yoko Ono, Cesaria Evora, Nina Simone, as well as much for his own label. In 2005, he was inducted into the [http://www.dmhof.com Dance Music Hall of Fame] as both a remixerand DJ.
Kevorkian now tours the world, taking part in many music gatherings, such as the [http://www.sonar.es Sonar Multimedia Festival] in Barcelona, Global Gathering (UK), Exit Festival (Serbia), The Big Chill (UK), Electric Picnic (Ireland).
He is also credited for the continuous DJ mix on the dance radio station (Electro-Choc) in the game
Grand Theft Auto IV. (April 2008)
"To this day, many people (especially in the UK) insist on mistakenly spelling his last name as 'Kervorkian', which can be traced to an erroneous credit on the Violator album he mixed for the group
As an artist
* FK-EP (Wave Music) 1996
* "Time And Space" (Wave Music) 1998
* "Capricorn" (Wave Music) 2000
* "Awakening" (Wave Music) 2002
* "Enlightenment" (Wave Music) 2002
* "Road Of Life" (Deep Space Media) 2007
* 'Various - Masterpiece: Created By Francois K' (Ministry Of Sound) 2008
*' [http://www.wavemusic.com/wave-release/207 Frequencies] ' - 2 x CD - (Wavetec) 2006
* 'Deep Space NYC (vol. 1)' (Deep Space Media/Wave Music) 2005
* 'Live At Sonar' ( [http://www.sonar.es/portal/eng/music.cfm?id_sonarmusic=21 SonarMusic] ) 2003
* 'Body&SOUL NYC (vol. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (Wave Music) 1998-2007
* 'Deep & Sexy (vol.1)' (Wave Music) 2001
* 'Choice: A Collection of Classics' (Azuli) 2002
* 'Essential Mix - François K' (London/Ffrr) 2000
Video Game DJ Mix
* 'Electro-Choc', the Dance radio station in
Grand Theft Auto IV(Rockstar Games) 2008
As a producer
* 'Snake Charmer' Jah Wobble, The Edge, Holger Czukay and Jaki Leibezeit (Island Records) 1983
* "May The Cube Be With You" Dolby's Cube 1985
Species Deceases' Midnight Oil(Columbia Records) 1985
* 'We're On The Move' Jamaica Girls (Sire) 1985
* "Strong Enough" Loleatta Holloway (Active Records) 1992 "co-produced with Yvone Turner and Alan Friedman"
* "Got To Be In Love" Barbara Mendes (Wave Music) 2003 "co-produced with Eric Kupper"
* "Rootsman" U-Roy (Deep Space Media) 2005 "co-produced with Russ Disciple"
As a mix producer
* 'Electric Café' Kraftwerk (EMI/Warner Bros.) 1986
* 'Violator' Depeche Mode (Mute) 1990
* 'Erasure' Erasure (Mute) 1995
* 'Blondosaurus' Rebecca (Sony Japan) 1989
As a remixer
* "In The Bush" Musique (Prelude) 1978
* "I Hear Music In The Streets" Unlimited Touch (Prelude) 1980
* "You're The One For Me" / "Keep On" / "Music" / "Walk On By" / "Misunderstanding" D-Train (Prelude) 1981-1983
* "Beat The Street" / "Never Give You Up" / "Send Your Love" / "Can You Handle It" Sharon Redd 1982-1983
* "Body Music" The Strikers (Prelude) 1981 "co-mixed with
* "Let's Go Dancin'" Sparque (West End) 1981
* "Situation" Yazoo (Mute) 1981
* "Go Bang" Dinosaur L (Sleeping Bag) 1981
* "Two Hearts Beat As One" / "New Year's Day" U2 (Island) 1983
This Charming Man" The Smiths (Rough Trade) 1983
* "Tour De France" Kraftwerk (EMI - Warner Bros.) 1984
* "Lucky In Love" / "Just Another Night" Mick Jagger (Columbia) 1984
* "Blue Light (12" Mix)"
* "Solid (As A Rock)" Ashford & Simpson (Capitol) 1984
* "Sleepless" King Crimson 1984
Jean Michel Jarre(Disques Dreyfus France) 1985
* "Perfect Way" Scritti Politti UK 12" Single ((Version)) (Virgin) 1985
* "Why Can't I Be You" / "Japanese Dream" / "Hot, Hot, Hot" The Cure (Fiction-Elektra) 1985-1990
* "The Telephone Call" Kraftwerk (EMI/Warner Bros.) 1987 "co-mixed with Kraftwerk and Ron St. Germain"
* "Don't You Want Me"
Jody Watley(MCA) 1987
Pet Shop Boys(Parlophone/EMI) 1987
Personal Jesus" / " Enjoy the Silence" / " Policy of Truth" / " World in My Eyes" Depeche Mode(Mute / Sire / Reprise) 1990
* "Radioactivity" Kraftwerk (EMI/Elektra) 1991
* "Higher Love" Depeche Mode (Mute/Sire/Reprise) 1994 "co-mixed with Goh Hotoda"
* "Get Another Plan" Abstract Truth (Wave Music) 1996
* "Tout est bleu" Ame Strong (Delabel) 1997
* "Sangue De Beirona" Cesaria Evora (Lusafrica / Wave) 1999
* "Expo Remix" Kraftwerk (EMI) 2000 "co-mixed with Rob Rives"
* "Hunter" Dido (Arista) 2001
* "Swollen" Bent (Ministry Of Sound) 2001
Chris Rea(Warner Bros.) 2001 "co-mixed with Eric Kupper"
* “La La Land” Green Velvet (Music Man) 2002 "co-mixed with Rob Rives"
* “Community” Audio Soul Project (NRK) 2002 "co-mixed with Rob Rives"
* "Forever More"
Moloko(Echo) 2003 "co-mixed with Eric Kupper"
Walking on Thin Ice" Yoko Ono(Twisted) 2003 "co-mixed with Eric Kupper"
* “Aborigine’s Jam”
Cirque du Soleil(Cirque du Soleil) 2003 "co-mixed with Eric Kupper"
* “Aero Dynamik” Kraftwerk (EMI - Astralwerks) 2004
* “Welcome Dub” Herbest Moon (Soundscape) 2004
* “Disco Infiltrator”
LCD Soundsystem(EMI UK) 2005
Ride a White Horse” Goldfrapp(Mute) 2005 "co-mixed with Eric Kupper"
Coldplay(EMI UK) 2005
* "Here Comes the Sun" Nina Simone (Columbia) 2006
As an editor
* "Happy Song" (bootleg) Rare Earth "(labelled as: "Happy Song And Dance") "
* "Is It All Over My Face" Loose Joints (West End Records) "with
Larry Levan--uncredited on label--"
* You can get more information and tour dates from his personal [http://www.francois-k.com/ web site] : http://www.francois-k.com/
* His record label, [http://www.wavemusic.com/ Wave Music] : http://www.wavemusic.com/
* Current DJ residency, [http://www.deepspacenyc.com/ Deep Space NYC] : http://www.deepspacenyc.com/
*Artist page on [http://www.myspace.com/francois_k MySpace] : http://www.myspace.com/francois_k
* Body & SOUL's web site: http://www.bodyandsoul-nyc.com/main.html
* His DJ Profile on [http://www.residentadvisor.net/dj_view.asp?ID=373 Resident Advisor (RA)] : http://www.residentadvisor.net/dj_view.asp?ID=373
* Another look at François K. from [http://www.jahsonic.com/FrancoisKevorkian.html Jahsonic] : http://www.jahsonic.com/FrancoisKevorkian.html
* [http://www.djtimes.com/original/djmag/mar02/francois.htm Interview with "DJ Times", 2002]
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