Photo Credit: Chia Minaya
New York City – On an evening when news broke of another setback for Gotham clubland, legendary New York DJ/producer François K went out blazing with the final installment of his long-running Deep Space party at Cielo.
While most clubgoers entered Cielo this past Monday night fully aware of the club’s imminent closing, many soon found out that another Nicolas Matar-owned venue, Brooklyn’s popular Output, would endure the same fate. It, too, would close after its New Year’s Eve events.
Amid the evening’s gossipy buzz, François and guest DJs Tedd Patterson and Dimitri From Paris got down to business. As usual, Deep Space was a joyful foray into musical eclecticism – basically, if the DJs think it’s good enough, they’ll play it. No real genre formulas, just quality music. And for the most part, the story on this night was to look back at some of the great music that Deep Space has brought us, through its original 13-year run at Cielo and then, for the past two years, at Output.
House-music maven Tedd Patterson kicked things off with a delicious set of deep goodness, featuring winners like: “Tim’s Groove,” a sexy, tribal rumble by Timmy Regisford & Adam Rios; “Interceptor,” a crackling electro bomb from Tracey; and Âme’s trippy, percolating remix of “Insomnia” by Rodamaal feat. Claudia Franco.
Making a guest appearance on the CDJs, Dimitri From Paris dropped his re-edit of Prince’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” a chill-inducing crowd-pleaser that opens with live piano-and-vocal from His Royal Badness, then morphs into full-band funkiness. A highlight for sure.
Of course, the lengthy François K set, which stretched past 4 a.m., followed his usual circuitous musical roadmap, but he never lost the floor or got overly educational. Fittingly, it was a tasteful, multi-genre joyride.
Zapping the crowd with a pair of bottom-heavy rock tracks, François first jolted the floor with the stinging guitar of Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” Later, he broke out an old clubland fave, Led Zep’s “Whole Lotta Love” – and yes, the mid-tune psychedelic breakdown/theremin solo sounded plain amazing on Cielo’s pristine Funktion-One audio system.
Later on, his reggae/dancehall/dub selections saw the dancefloor pulse with riddim – highlights included the d-n-b-infused Liondub remix of “Original” by Blend Mishkin & Roots Evolution. But as the evening stretched on, François delivered more evergreen dancefloor grooves: “Back Together Again” by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway; “Native New Yorker” by Odyssey; and “Let No Man Put Asunder” by First Choice. Sweat pouring, hips shaking, hands in the air, smiles everywhere.
At one point, the maestro took the microphone and offered an impassioned explanation of his Deep Space concept. “For Deep Space, I didn’t want to always play the same old bullshit and, I remember at the first party, I played Led Zeppelin and saw some people walk out,” he recalled from the DJ booth. “But I wanted to play music that was unpredictable – and maybe sometimes even irritating – but it was never going to be the same music you can hear at other parties. So… thank you all for coming along on this ride with me.”
And thank you, François, for daring to be different.
Stay tuned for François K’s next area appearance, the debut of his Funky Sensation party (with DJ Spinna) on December 26 at Output in Brooklyn. Expect to hear François going back to his roots of funk and disco – think of a dose of Paradise Garage with a dash of Studio 54.