François Kevorkian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

François Kevorkian
Kevorkian in 2017
Kevorkian in 2017
Background information
Also known asFrançois K.
Born (1954-01-10) 10 January 1954 (age 67)
Rodez, Midi-Pyrénées, France[1]
Genres
Occupation(s)DJ, music producer,[1] remixer, record label owner

François Kevorkian (born 10 January 1954),[3] also known by the stage name François K, is French-born, of Armenian descent and U.S.-based DJ, producer, remixer and label owner, who started his career DJing in clubs such as the Paradise Garage and Studio 54. Kevorkian has produced and remixed work by a diverse range of musicians including The Smiths, Adam Ant, Kraftwerk, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Diana Ross, Gloria Estefan and U2,[3] and is considered one of the forefathers of house music.[2]

Biography[edit]

François Kevorkian (Armenian: Ֆրանսուա Գեւորգեան) was born and raised in France, with Armenian heritage. He played the drums in his adolescent years.

He moved to the United States in 1975.[3] At that time the competition to be a drummer was very high, so around 1976 he became a DJ in underground clubs in New York City.[3] DJing soon became his full-time occupation, including some work at more commercial venues such as the club New York, New York in 1977. He taught himself tape editing and started making disco medleys, such as Rare Earth's "Happy Song".[3] He was offered a role in A&R for a nascent dance independent record label, Prelude Records, which allowed him to go into the studio and do remixes. His first remix, of "In The Bush" by Musique, became a club and radio hit, and was followed by further hit remixes including "You're The One For Me' and "Keep On" by D-Train, and "Beat The Street" by Sharon Redd. He left Prelude in 1982, and in the same year had the most #1 singles on Billboard's Dance Music Chart, including his remixes of tracks such as "Situation" by Yazoo, and "Go Bang" by Dinosaur L.

Kevorkian also performed as a DJ at Club Zanzibar in Newark, New Jersey during the 1980s, home to the "Jersey Sound" brand of deep house or garage house.[4]

During this time he began building his own recording studio, Axis Studios,[3] in the same building as Studio 54. The studio soon became a major commercial operation. He stopped DJing around 1983 to focus on recording and mixing full-time, but started again in early 1990. Due to the new international popularity of dance music, he gained exposure overseas and began performing abroad. He toured Japan with Larry Levan in 1992 on the 'Harmony Tour' before Levan's death in November that year, and also appeared at London's Ministry of Sound and Fabric, Japan's Spacelab Yellow, Ibiza's Pacha and Space, Italy's Angels of Love and many large festivals.

In 1995, he started an eclectic independent record label, Wave Music, on which he released his own work, including the FK-EP, as well as records by Abstract Truth, Floppy Sounds and other electronic music releases. In 1996, with partner John Davis, he launched Body&SOUL, a weekly party held every Sunday afternoon at Club Vinyl, 6 Hubert Street, playing alongside co-resident DJs Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell and Danny Krivit. The 'Body&SOUL' sound, a soulful mix of organic and spiritual dance music, led to the release of a compilation series by the same name.

He continued his career as an artist, returning to a more electronic sound, and the release of his Sonar Music set in 2002 marked an edgier and more futuristic style,[5] more closely related to Techno and Dub than the House sound he was identified with as a DJ. In 2002, he also started touring with Derrick May, playing sets together as the Cosmic Twins at Berlin's Tresor, Manchester's Sankey's Soap and London's Fabric. Kevorkian released a new compilation CD in 2006, entitled Frequencies.

In April 2003, he started a residency at a new weekly Monday night event in New York City called "Deep Space NYC",[6] an eclectic night focused on dub music and related styles. He mixed Deep Space NYC Vol. 1, a compilation featuring several of his own productions, along with Jamaican dub artists Mutabaruka and U-Roy. He also provided remixes for Moloko, Yoko Ono, Cesária Évora, Nina Simone, as well as for his own label. In 2005, he was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame as both a remixer and DJ.

Kevorkian has subsequently performed at events around the world, including Midem (France), Sónar (Spain), Global Gathering (UK), Exit Festival (Serbia), The Big Chill (UK), Bestival (UK) and Electric Picnic (Ireland).

Selected discography[edit]

As an artist[edit]

FK-EP (Wave Music) 1996[edit]

  • "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

Compilations[edit]

  • Masterpiece: Created By François K (Ministry of Sound) 2008
  • Frequencies – 2 x CD – (Wavetec) 2006
  • Deep Space NYC (vol. 1) (Deep Space Media/Wave Music) 2005
  • Live at Sonar[7] (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[edit]

As a producer[edit]

As a mix producer[edit]

  • 'So Red the Rose' Arcadia (EMI Records) 1985
  • 'Electric Café' Kraftwerk (EMI Records, non-USA; Warner Bros. Records, USA) 1986
  • 'Violator' Depeche Mode (Mute, non-USA; Sire/Reprise/Warner Bros., USA) 1990 (credited as Francois "Kervorkian", a typographical error)
  • 'Erasure' Erasure (Mute) 1995
  • 'Blondosaurus' Rebecca (Sony Japan) 1989

As a remixer[edit]

As an editor[edit]

  • "Happy Song" (bootleg) Rare Earth (labelled as: "Happy Song And Dance")

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "François K | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic.
  2. ^ a b "Francois Kevorkian Biography". Archive.today. Archived from the original on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (2003). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. p. 290. ISBN 1-85227-969-9.
  4. ^ "History of Queer Club Spaces in Newark | Queer Newark". Queer.newark.rutgers.edu.
  5. ^ ": Sónar : SonarMusic". 12 December 2004. Archived from the original on 12 December 2004.
  6. ^ "Deep Space NYC". Deepspacenyc.com. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Sónar .::. Music". 22 December 2005. Archived from the original on 22 December 2005.

External links[edit]