Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Parlez-Vous Francois

After mentioning Danny Tenaglia in yesterdays post, it got me thinking of the time around 1996 - 8 when my tastes were heavily influenced by whatever Pete Tong was playing on the Essential Selection and Essential Mix. It probably isn't very credible to say that loud now.  Although there was a lot of commercial handbag stuff played, those shows were also my first introduction to some incredible djs and records from Carl Craig, David Holmes and Francois Kevorkian

Kevorkian's history is pretty much the history of dance music. From playing at legendary clubs The Paradise Garage, The Loft and Studio 54 to Body & Soul and more recently Deep Space, his styles moving with the times and technological advancements. I won't even bother touching on his extensive work as a producer and remixer but it's safe to say if you have bought records at any point in the last 30 years, you will have something with his name on.

I remember Francois Kevorkian doing a 30 minute mix for the Essential Selection in 1999 and although by this time my tastes had become a little more eclectic, I was amazed by how many different styles he was playing in such a short time - everything from techno and house to jazz. It was only a little later that I found out he had been doing this for more than 25 years (at that point.)

When his Essential Mix cd came out in 2000, it instantly became the greatest mix I had ever heard - in truth, for the strength of the tracks, the mixing and how it flows, I still don't think it has been bettered. Just looking at the tracklisting in the shop, I knew it was going to be a bit special: Paperclip People mixed into Kraftwerk into A Tribe Called Quest? I'm having that! It also introduced me to so many new names such as Maurizio, D-Train and Kyoto Jazz Massive. In theory, it should sound like its jumping all over the place and yet somehow it just sounds perfect, as if each track compliments the last even if they are from wildly differing genres.

So now, you might expect me to pick some Basic Channel or the Wally Badarou track Massive Attack used on "Daydreaming", but actually, if I had to chose a highlight it would be that Kevorkian managed to find a track by a group I thought I already had the measure of and would have otherwise instantly dismissed and yet mixed between all this techno, house and afro beat, that crap slap bass "It's my life" band suddenly made a but more sense.

Download: Level 42 - Starchild 

1 comment:

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