DANNY KRIVIT with PETER & TYRONE , JASON PALMA , NICK HOLDER and DIRTY DALE ARSENAULT at Roxy Blu (12 Brant), Friday (June 17). $15 adv, more at the door. www.roxyblu.com.
Interviewing NYC legend Danny Krivit is a bit intimidating. He comes across as somewhat apprehensive about the whole process, too. Krivit's no doubt wary of music journalists after seeing the history of dance music misrepresented so often, not to mention all the factual errors people have made writing about him.
Once he gets going, though, he has a lot to say about the history of club culture, having been a professional DJ for a mind-blowing 34 years.
Granted, he was lucky enough to have a father who owned a club, the Ninth Circle, where he got his start in 1971. This might seem like the dark ages to most clubbers, but the history of this music goes back even further than that.
"Actually, my first club experience was at the Electric Circus in the late 60s, when my father took me as a kid," Krivit reminisces from his New York home.
This was before the advent of the 12-inch single, of course, and you wouldn't have heard DJs mixing much back then, but those early discotheques helped lay the groundwork for what became the modern dance party.
Krivit spent the 70s playing in clubs that his father ran, as well as starting his own after-hours club, and by the end of the decade he was the resident DJ at the Roxy for its first four years. He also discovered David Mancuso's Loft parties, which he says hugely influenced the path that underground dance music took.
The 80s saw hiphop explode in NYC, and Krivit was right in the middle of that as one of the few white DJs who scratched. At the same time, he started making a name for himself as a remixer, but even more for his re-edits. (A re-edit is a simpler way of reworking a song for the club, extending portions and removing sections, but not manipulating the instrumentation.)
"I think what made what I did popular was a careful respect for the music. I don't do a re-edit of a track unless I already like it. There might be a part that I'd like to go on a bit longer, or ways that I could make it a bit better to my ears, but I have to like the song first."
In the mid-90s, he joined François K and Joe Claussell for their eclectic and soulful Sunday-afternoon party, Body & Soul, an event whose influence was felt all over the world and which helped define and give shape to the post-garage deep house scene.
Unfortunately, New York has become much less friendly to the party scene since then, and Body & Soul now exists only as a yearly event in Japan.
These days he keeps himself busy producing records and running his own party in NYC, the 718 Sessions. Some might expect a DJ with this kind of history to focus on the "good old days," but Krivit isn't interested in reliving the past.
"I want to play classics, but classic records don't have to be old."