This dichotomy neatly encapsulates why, after more than 35 years as a DJ, François Kevorkian has been able to stay relevant. It was 1975, at the age of 21, when he made the move from France to New York, in an era when the globetrotting DJ was all but unheard of. He became a regular at Studio 54 and The Paradise Garage, and was conveniently placed to make the transition from disco to house music. Whether DJing, remixing or producing, his career has always involved a process of adapting and surviving.
For the past decade or so, Kevorkian's sets have been wrapped in a tougher shell. That's clear to see on his edition of Masters Series. CD1 is the more eclectic of the two, moving from that Jazzanova remix through to the throbbing, analogue house chug of Jeremy Greenspan & Laurie Spiegel's "Drums & Drums & Drums," on to Maceo Plex's dramatic, growling rework of Maetrik's "Walk Alone," and then to an untitled track from Scuba that's all squawking intruder alarm synths and rumbling bass pulses. Scuba's Belgian protégé, Locked Groove, makes an appearance with the engaging acid techno-meets-UKG rhythms of "Dream Within A Dream." Blawan's jackhammer industrial workout "6 to 6 Lick" acts as something of an hors d'oeuvre for the more penetrating sound of CD2.
That side kicks off with the intense, liquid techno of Luca Bacchetti's "Atlantic." Kevorkian introduces some classic-sounding Detroit flavours with Benny Rodrigues' "Nostalgia," before Technasia's jacking, high-stepping "Bastille Days" takes things up a notch. It's propelled towards its apex by UK techno mavens Gary Beck and Stephen Brown and the aforementioned Beyer & Fitzpatrick remix, finally gaining remission through the echo-laden trumpets of Swiss producer Chronophone on the neo-Balearic jam "Eiffel Love." With 31 tracks in two and a half hours, each song is allowed to breathe. But even more than the mix itself, it's the quality of Kevorkian's selections that tell you he's got plenty of miles still left in his tank.