Name, Location, What You Do:
Danny Krivit, DJ since 1971, record producer, but in production I’m best known for bringing attention to the art of editing.
Music of the 60’s & 70’s, the first 2 decades of Soul Train, The Ninth Circle & growing up in Greenwich Village, James Brown, Larry Levan & the Paradise Garage, David Mancuso & the Loft, Body & Soul with Francois K & Joe Claussell
Your DJ career is so long, so right now in 2019, what are you looking for in a record?
It’s a process that, because I’ve been doing this this many years, I’ve acquired kind of a path of what I’m looking for that involves that whole journey. I’m kind of drawn towards things that are not disposable music. I want something that’s going to last and, to me, a classic is not necessarily its age, it’s just: “Does this seem like it’s going to stand the test of time?” I do look for things that have substance. And this matters. It’s got depth or class, and I’m drawn towards soul, so whether it’s a techno record or a pop record or whatever it is, I’m drawn towards things that have a soul to it. Also things that I feel I’m going to play in some place or another. It doesn’t have to be a dance floor filler, but that I’m going to find use, not like, “Oh, this is a cool record to put in my closet”.
How often are you still looking for records and tracks?
It’s when (and where) I have a day off. I’m usually doing it several times a day. When I travel, I’m always looking for vinyl or when I’m overseas, places I haven’t been. A lot of the regular things are rare finds for me, and I’m constantly looking in my neighborhood, because what I can’t do overseas, I do here. Where I’m around, because of that, something comes up once and you’re just there. But I get a lot of mail from people sending me different things. I’m looking on all the different sites for things I would normally be attracted to. Just a constant search.
Favorite Records at the Moment:
Heaven (Danny Krivit Edit) – The Vision – Defected
Moving Mountains (Danny Krivit Edit) – The Hood Ft Andreya Triana – Defected
Good Feeling (Atjazz & D-Malice Vocal Dub) – Dominique Fils-Aimé-
Raise You Up – Sophie Lloyd Ft Dames Brown – Defected
Come On Baby (Toshi Edit) Barbara Mason – CRP (7″)
Get On That (Inst-Re-Layered) – Andy Cooper & DJ Format – 45 Live (7″)
Aguaxirê – JKriv – Rocksteady Disco
Barely Breaking Even (Louie Vega Boogie Mix) The Universal Robot Band – BBE
Hanging Tough – Sunlightsquare – ALIM (7″)
Life In ATL Tyrone Francis BNY Prod – Tyrone Francis – Blak-n-Yello
I was looking at some of your favorite records at the moment and I saw that there is a DJ Format and Andy Cooper record in there. I’ve reviewed them on the site many times, so, are you kind of up on a lot of releases with that kind of sound?
This answer kind of covers a lot of ground. The more I know, the more I realize I don’t. I feel like, I know a lot, but I mean in my mind, I’m feeling like, “God, I know nothing.” I’m constantly asking questions. I’m constantly being turned on to things. It seems to open up several other doors. It’s not like it needs to be processed, it’s just, that’s where it goes.
I also have this philosophy that records find you. If you’re meant to have a record, it’s going to come to you some way. What do you think about that?
I think records have found me but, like I said, the more I know, the more I realize I don’t know. Whatever I’ve acquired, I’ve got 80,000 records. And then probably more than that digital. But the thing is, I’m sure I have double or many times that of stuff I would love that I don’t know, I don’t have.
How do you organize all that?
Badly. The bigger it gets the more the monster is. The records have become just a monster because I don’t have the freedom of a large warehouse. I have storage, I have my house which is overrun. And I’m constantly trying to manage it and it’s always so unmanageable at that size. I don’t have a staff. Digitally, it can be even more daunting. I have a system but it might be one of those old movies where the guy opens up the desk and it’s this complete mess. And he kind of knows where everything is but you look at it and go, “How?”
Controlled chaos, right?
Yeah. That’s a good explanation. Controlled chaos.
I started buying those corrugated cardboard boxes just this past summer. I would go from bag to box to bag to box and I gave it a good try.
Wait, let me explain something to you at the other end. Cardboard boxes are a problem. They’re efficient when you don’t care and you’re just using space, like you’re storing it tightly. But most of the things in boxes are forgotten and you don’t have the opportunity to go in and out them or change it. And then it becomes just this thing that’s there and you don’t touch and you go, “Why is it there? I’m not even using it. And there’s things in there I should be using.” So, even in storage, I try to have shelving. Just [so] there’s some movement and understanding.
I have some shelves and few boxes but I’m slowly running out of space myself. A whole floor full of records. My wife is wondering, “when is enough? That’s what she asks me a lot.
Well, you start inventing efficient ways to use corners and parts of the ceiling and wherever it is, it’s not offensive to them, but at least you’re utilizing space.
Best Digging Story:
Back in the mid 70’s when David Mancuso ran the first record pool out of The Loft, after about a year or two, he disbanded the pool. When I ran into him on the street, he mentioned that he was giving away all of the leftover promos, and that I could come and take as much as I could carry. I wasn’t able to go until later that week, by then word had gotten out; I knew a lot of people had raided it already. But this was a very special collection of music and I knew there were still plenty of records I would be overjoyed to get. I found a big bag that would probably hold close to a crate of records and I went with a friend. I told my friend that I was especially looking for one record in particular, a promo only record that had so far eluded me. But I knew if I was gonna find it anywhere, it would be there. It was a limited white label promo of Diana Ross “Love Hangover” backed with the vocal and instrumental versions of Marvin Gaye “I Want You”. When I arrived, the record room where the records used to be all on the shelves and in stacks of boxes, were now just loose, covering the entire floor of the room. So much that it was a good 3 feet high of records wall to wall. To get into the room, you needed to climb up on the records and look around from above. We did, and as we started to look around, that’s when I told him that it would really make my day if I were to find this particular Diana Ross/Marvin Gaye promo 12″. Soon after that, as we’re carefully maneuvering around on top of the records, I hear a loud snap from under my foot, I look to see what it was, amazingly it was that Diana Ross/Marvin Gaye promo 12″! I was so upset, you couldn’t even talk to me, I told my friend I had to leave, I couldn’t stay any longer and left. I eventually finally found another copy of that 12″: about 10 years later.
LP, 12”, or 7” format?
I prefer vinyl over digital, but I really enjoying playing whatever actually sounds best for that song, generally 12″s sound the best, but it really depends on the individual pressing/recording, sometimes I prefer the Lp version, sometimes the 7″ version, sometimes I actually prefer the digital…whatever sounds best, that’s what I prefer.
Speaking of 7″ records, were you just drawn to seven inches or is it just kind of how it was back in the day, whatever format you got, that’s it?
Back in the day, it was whatever format. Because of the timing of that period of time, seven inches were, there was no twelve inch. Seven inches were the focus of, you wanted that song, you didn’t necessarily want the whole album. And a lot of seven inches were engineered to sound a little louder, a little better. They were like a definitive mix of the song. Maybe they cut off a meandering part or something like that. Sometimes they cut out the best part, but lots of times it was geared towards: this is the strongest part of the song. So we bought sevens back then, first. And you played two seven inches if you want to keep it going. So, kind of my collection, I had a lot of seven inches back there. But I had a lot of albums too and I played whatever I thought was best for that song. And as the twelve inches came in, the sevens really kind of disappeared. I kept what I had, but I wasn’t really buying sevens. Occasionally, something would stand out, it’s only on a seven. But then, maybe in the last 10 or 15 years, I started to see a movement, people using more sevens and more seven inch releases. And I was approaching 45 years of DJing, so I thought, “You know what? I have all these sevens. I had this affinity to them. Let me do a party of just sevens.” And I started kind of acquiring a little more seven inches as I was traveling and leading up to this. And it really just took off, my seven inch collection. I’m a little spoiled, having all this digital, everything I want to play. I want to have the same with the seven inches. I want to have all that versatility. So, I focused a lot on collecting sevens that I play and when I do these parties because they’re local, I drag a lot of it with me. So, even though this party is going to be only four hours, I mean some of them have been eight hours, I’ll still drag a ridiculous amount of records with me because it’s just easier to play with that freedom.
Do you feel like you over pack at times?
Think of this as how much overkill I’m doing. I’m bringing close to, I mean the last couple of times I’ve brought, between 2000 and 2200 records. It’s more work to cut it down and sit there and go, I’m probably not going to play this, whatever. I bring all the possibilities, I think, just like I would have on all my drives. So, it’s more extensive than necessary, but it’s a great freedom to feel like, I don’t set out to play certain things. I play off the cloud, I get rushes. My whole style of playing all these years, I get an intuition and a rush to play something that I never expected to. It just happens in the moment. And so, it’s nice to have those possibilities because lots of times if I leave something behind, it’s that exact record that, oh, I actually wanted to play that.
We’re on our feet quite a bit, all the time. Whether it’s walking to a gig with records or trying to get on whatever transportation or actually standing six or seven hours. What is your opinion on kind of a footwear as you DJ? I know throughout the years, for me, I always wanted to look good. So, maybe I wore shoes that looked good. But now as getting a little older, looking good isn’t always the best thing when you have to DJ for a long stretch of time.
I think, especially if you’re doing this regularly, you’re going to focus on what’s comfortable. I noticed François wears footwear. He’s wearing an open shoe that he’s comfortable in, not necessarily looks good. When I was a teenager, I really wore sneakers every day. And I went through Converse, Adidas, Pumas and Nikes and all this. And they just sweat too much. But I was always like, “Ah. This is not healthy. There’s just too much sweat in a shoe.” So, on that search in about 1980, I discovered New Balance. They were not a big brand back then. They were really hidden. But the one thing they did do was they breathed. And they had a little bit of a sedate look, and back then you couldn’t get into clubs with sneakers. So, somehow I used them to look a little less like a sneaker, they’re a suede shoe. I just got used to wearing them all these years and I wore them 24/7, that’s my shoe. And for all these hours DJing, they’ve really been helpful. I mean I haven’t had a problem. I think my style of performing, and I’m moving up there, I’m not just standing, so I think it’s just worked well with the New Balance. I haven’t had to reach out for anything else.
Most Memorable Gig Played:
48 years of DJing, very many, can’t name just one!
I would want to shout out to Paul Raffaele. Always helped with, not only these parties, but just as a friend and music in general, always supportive. Benny Soto as well. My partnership with him with 718 sessions and the support he gives me. My wife, AK, who is a supporting artist and again, just so much help with the things I do regarding music. And really, there are so many special regulars out there. Some of which are going to be at this party [September 12th] or 718 sessions or Body and SOUL. Certainly a shout out to Body and SOUL, François K and Joe Claussell. I’ve been very blessed with over the years these regulars that, you don’t realize how much they hold up the parties in general. Not just mine, but the scene. They’re individuals, you can’t compare them to anybody and they bring a kind of energy that is so missed if they’re not there. They’re not all so young, but they have a youth that young people spot and emulate when they come in the parties. So, I’m really thankful to these people. There’s too many to mention, but really thankful to the people that have come to my parties regularly. Very special.
As far as what I’d like to tell people, is just that I really enjoy what I do. It’s not just the music alone, but it’s the music and how I can share it with people. And what my focus is on music that has substance to it and that’s why I’ve been able to do it this many years and feel that it’s just going to continue going as long as I can. But it’s something I love doing in that I think it’s a little bit of a fountain of youth. It’s funny, I’m surrounded by a group of friends that I’ve known most of my life and we all feel like kids because we have this love of music. It’s got that kind of energy. I think if I was selling insurance all these years, I’d be done. Because when I grew up, everybody I knew had some sort of music collection, had some sort of involvement in music. And now it’s a lot more specialized. A lot of people, music is what they hear somewhere. They don’t really get lost in it. I think it’s just what falls on them that shapes what they’re into. The whole short attention span problem, it’s a problem in life in general. So, I just like to tell people, it’s a life giving experience to be involved. It really brings me most of my happiness.
Thursday, September 12th – vinyl only 100% 7″ party at Shimanski 6-10pm-ish
Saturday (Early Morning), September 14th, Golden Record presents A Rooftop Party with Danny Krivit & Charles Webster.
@ Taafe Street Loft, 226-262 Taaffe Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11205. I’ll be playing from 8:30am-11am
Sunday, September 15th, Mighty Real presents Body And Soul @ SVN, San Francisco
Sunday, September 22nd, 718 Sessions with Danny Krivit & Special guest Sting International @ 3 Dollar Bill, Brooklyn (Feat Sting’s incredible sound system)
Sunday, October 13th, 718 Sessions celebrates King Street Sounds 25th anniversary & Columbus Day @ Good Room, Brooklyn with a very special guest to be announced soon.