Danny Krivit

Message in the music
24 February 2015

Danny Krivit: Message in the music

Stephen Titmus spends time with one of dance music’s foundational figures.

Danny Krivit’s 45-year DJ career reads like the evolution of dance music itself. He grew up in the ’60s, experiencing the very earliest days of New York disco, and later gained a musical education at some of the world’s most legendary nightspots. The Loft, The Gallery, The Paradise Garage—Danny was a regular at them all. Remarkably, Krivit is one of only a handful of DJs other than Larry Levan to have played at The Garage.

Krivit’s experiences in the ’70s and ’80s have had a lasting effect on him, informing almost every move he’s made since. His legendary Body & Soul night, co-founded with François Kevorkian and Joe Claussell, and 718 Sessions, his still hugely popular monthly party, were established on principles laid down during this golden period. Aside from his illustrious DJ career, Krivit is also a remix legend. He has over 130 editing credits to his name, including his rework of MFSB’s “Love Is The Message,” which is considered by many to be the greatest edit of all time. In anticipation of an eight-hour set in London later this month, I spent time with one of dance music’s most storied figures.

You’re releasing some new edits in 2015. What’s the driving factor behind releasing something like your Thelma Houston edit, which you’ve been playing for years?

It seems like years but I guess I made that maybe two years ago. I tried to release it this past summer. Basically I’m working with somebody in Japan. There’s somebody I trust who does really good work, but they can also be very slow [laughs]. They meticulously get things right. I’m still working with them on it but it’s just taking forever to come out.

To play devil’s advocate, why go through all that stress when you could release the song digitally?

I really wanted it on vinyl. It was that kind of a record. I’m trying to do a lot of vinyl releases this year. When I play I like to play vinyl. If I really care about a certain song I would probably prefer to have it on vinyl.

In your mind, what makes a good edit?

I think there are several things. From my perspective, definitely respect for the music is important. It’s not about how much you do, or about showing your editing skill. It’s about doing what the record needed. It could be a simple extension of a couple parts and that’s it. You can manipulate certain parts of a record really well and still hold the integrity of something. The great thing is a lot of the original music has great arrangements and great musicianship—that’s already there. You don’t have to alter that. That’s what I love about editing.

You really seem to love the records you edit. Is that important to you?

For me it is. I can’t speak for everyone. I’m glad that shines through. I basically approach edits, not as something someone suggests to me, but from the point of view that I love this record and I see a different shape to it, an extension or different view. It motivates me. Sometimes I love a record but I love it the way it is. I don’t want to make it longer or change it for change’s sake. I’m either inspired to do something or I’m not. I’ve turned down a lot of edits that way.

Source: http://www.residentadvisor.net/feature.aspx?2425