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Brooklyn-based Label Boss, Band leader, Edit king, and DJ extrodianairre

JKrivis a Brooklyn-based producer, DJ, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and label-owner. With a professional musical career stretching nearly 2 decades, J has gained serious attention recently for his original productions and inspired DJ sets, and was called “an innovator of the scene” by legendary Defected Records boss Simon Dunmore.

It’s a title he has rightly earned, with releases and remixes on Joey Negro’s ZRecords, Soundway Records, his own label Razor-N-Tape, among many others, plus massive new singles and remixes for Glitterbox.

J brings a seasoned musicality to everything he touches, whether original productions, remixes or reworks and re-edits. A trained musician, his talent for dazzling live instrumentation can be heard on his recent all-original disco opus “Vertigo”on ZRecords, as well recent remixes of Luke Solomon’s Powerdance project on Classic Records, and “Strength” by Freeform Five feat Carolyn Harding on Glitterbox.

J has also established himself a purveyor of all things outer-national. He’s nurtured along- standing love affair with the music of Brazil through his 2017 Férias ’77 LP compilation of reworks on Razor-N-Tape, and his 2019 Aguaxirê EP on Detroit’s Rocksteady Disco, and also remixed African artists for renowned labels Soundway and Africa Seven.

JKriv’s tracks have been played by club and radio DJs such as Derrick Carter, Disclosure, Andrew Weatherall, Louie Vega, Kenny Dope, MarkFarina, BBC Radio 1’s Pete Tong and BB6’s Craig Charles, among many others.

Like his productions, JKriv’s DJ sets showcase his deep and diverse taste, weaving eclectic disco, house, and offbeat selections together seamlessly, always with an ear forgroove and harmony, and an eye to the dance floor. In addition to regular nights at hometown hotspots Black Flamingo, Le Bain, Good Room, Output and Elsewhere, J has performed live and DJ’d in over 30 countries and nearly every state in the continental US, sharing bills with Todd Terje, Tony Humphries, Session Victim, Joey Negro, and returned to play the idyllic Mareh Music festival in Brazil NYE 2020, for the second time.

JKriv is also a foundational member of the live disco band Escort, co-writing, producing, and touring as bassist/guitarist with the group at Coachella,Sasquatch Festival, Electric Forest and innumerable club gigs around the world, as well as a original founding member and former bass player for the groundbreaking live-house group Tortured Soul.

JKriv’s talents as a tastemaker extend beyond the studio and DJ booth, as co-owner of respected Brooklyn record label Razor-N-Tape. RNT now boasts an 80+ release-deep catalog that has garnered support and spins from some of the biggest names in modernclub and radio, and is one of the most respected and consistent current independent dance music labels.

GOURANGA QUESTIONNAIRE

What was the first record you can remember buying? Tell us about an important early musical experience.

I wish I could remember the exact record I bought, but it was most likely a Def Leppard cassette at the mall or something like that haha. My world kind of opened up when I started playing bass and guitar at age 12. I was very into classic rock and metal at the time, but I started appreciating musicianship in other styles of music and it led me down some new and exciting roads.

If you could have the audio stems to any track what would it be?

I’d love to get my hands on some early 70’s Zappa, just for the listen. Marvin Gaye “I Want You” would be pretty great…I think that one’s out there, but I don’t have the secret password to enter the special stems file-sharing disco bro group. The Wailers “Catch A Fire” is such an incredible sounding record, and knowing the story behind it with them pouring every penny of the advance Chris Blackwell gave them, recording it all themselves, it would be an amazing one to have.

What was your first musical composition, edit or remix?

I started writing music around the time I started playing, but my first true compositions were for a high school band. I wrote for jazz and funk ensembles throughout college, and the first original song I ever had officially released was a Brazilian-insipred funk tune called “Minha Mente” which I wrote for my band Topaz, released in 2001. 

What song do you put on when you wake up or need to get cracking on with the day?

It really varies depending on my mood, but reggae is always a good morning vibe.

What do you wish we had more of in the electronic music scene?

Songs!!!

Do you have an album or DJ set that you listen to repeatedly and would like to share with our clan?

“Mr Fingers – Introduction” is one I return to a lot. Larry Heard is such a genius, and this first Mr Fingers LP is just a futuristic soulful gem, that’s beautifully realized, recorded and mixed. I love to listen to it on a plane (remember those?), it just gets me in a really cozy and relaxed mood.  And “Children At Play” is one of the deepest cuts of all time.

How did you decide that music was your calling? Is it your sole focus?

It’s cliché but I don’t think I really chose music, it sort of just chose me. It’s not my sole focus, but definitely my main drive and the defining passion of my life.

If money and death was not a factor - who would play at your wedding or birthday - both live acts and djs?

Oh I like this game. I’ll have Bill Evans early-60s trio play cocktail hour, Earth, Wind & Fire will do the reception, and Theo Parrish the after-party!

Gouranga is a Harre Krishna mantra meaning ‘be happy’ - where are you most at peace?

I’m generally at my most centered and creative soon after I’ve woken up; I find it’s a great time to be productive in the studio.

Which musical acts do you feel have not been dealt their fair hand in the annals of time?

I think a lot of the song-writers and producers of the 70s like Patrick Adams, Quincy Jones, Ashford & Simpson, Gamble & Huff, McFadden & Whitehead are criminally underappreciated. I guess it’s weird to call them underrated, but their contributions are so huge and I feel like the average music listener has no idea about them.

Which acts are really exciting you at the moment?

Khruangbin, SAULT, Faze Action on their afro tip.

Are there any habits, processes or hacks you do to help yourself get yourself ready to make music?

I always have a bunch of projects going and I’ve learned that when I hit a creative wall on one thing it’s best to switch gears and work on something totally different. It’s taken me a long time to learn the value of allowing yourself to step away from something and come back with fresh ears.

If you had the Gouranga time travel machine - where in history and the future would you go to?

I think I’d probably have to put myself back in NYC in the late 70s or early 80s. I’d love to go to the Paradise Garage, check Talking Heads at CBGBs, try to get in the studio with some folks and make music. I often feel like I was sort of born at the wrong time and it would be great to experience all of that. As far as the future goes…I really don’t know. I would settle for November 4th at this point. 😕

What song do you put on when you want to relax?

Isley Brothers – For the Love Of You

Bill Evans – Come Rain or Come Shine

Miles Davis – In A Silent Way

Ali Farka Toure – Hawa Dolo

Debussy – Homage a Rameau

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