Francois K @ Goldfish, Sydney (09/06/2012)

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When Francois K’s gig was announced a month ago, I was happy to see that someone decided to bring out the legendary New York DJ to Sydney. At 58 years of age he’s showing no signs of slowing down, still playing almost every Monday night at Deep Space in NYC and doing Body and Soul parties every so often in NYC and overseas. When I saw the venue was at Goldfish, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I know some credible acts have been playing at the venue in the last year and the sound system there is great.

I arrived at the Goldfish sometime after 11pm, Gary Todd was playing some older house tracks. I definitely wasn’t expecting it, given the venue and those who chose to hang out around the booth seemed to enjoy the music, despite the sound issues with the monitors. It definitely set what I hoped to be the mood for Francois’ set.

Francois came promptly on to the decks just after midnight for his 3 hour set. He’s set up to play on Traktor, and the set-up is pretty much the same as what he’s had for quite some time. The first hour was pretty cruisy, a little bit deep (but not overly) and I really enjoyed it, with a few interesting tracks like Flash Mob’s Need In Me, Storm Queen’s Look Right Through and Erick Morillo’s Pa Ra Ra (Shake). While the dance floor was full to some bopping bodies (and it was nice to see some people there truly enjoying a good dance) it was not going crazy. For some reason, that seemed to give him the licence to drop some “harder” tracks in the second hour.

Even though I know Francois spans many genres at times, it was a bit too much for me because it lacked consistency. The set drifted from some techno and house tunes, to banging commercial techno… back to more techno and house tracks. For a while the beats did go the syncopated way with Objeckt’s Porcupine and Martyn’s We are You in the Future. There were definitely moments of songs that I liked, but always in a remix that may have been more suited to the crowd (but not the song itself) – Paperclip People’s Throw (Slam remix) was definitely one of those moments.

Fortunately the third hour was a little steadier beat wise, even if it was a bit commercial. At least the dancefloor remained packed and the crowd stuck with it; however every time the dance floor died down a little he’d drop some almost rave-style bigger beats to get it going again. I was confused – for example there was Jay Lumen’s The Drummer then dropping into Tom Trago’s house-y Use Me Again (And Again), Dustin Zahn’s acid/rave-y Stranger to Stability, Boys Noize 1010. Somewhere in there was the good old Donna Summer I Feel Love remix, which made me realise that disco was largely missing from this set. It’s a shame as I’ve seen him about a dozen times in different venues (some of them fairly commercial I might add) and been taken on a long journey of house, techno, and disco.

By the time the three hours was up I’d left the front room and was in the bar at the back. Francois finished up with Danny Krivit’s remix of Strings of Life: it was perhaps a fitting way to end the set on a high. It’s a shame that this set wasn’t amazing, because there was definitely potential, especially on such a good sound system. I’m going to put it down to a combination of relatively commercial crowd and the limitation of a three-hour set.

I’d definitely urge you all to go out and see Francois play next time he’s in Sydney, or make a note to be in NYC on a Monday night if you’re ever in town.

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