Yvan Genkins

 

Taking something of a gap year in Germany in the 90s, Yvan Genkins was able to absorb club culture flowing from every pore of the likes of Tresor in Berlin and Munich’s Alter Flughafen Riem Club. Exposed to the techno excellence of some of its royal family – Kevin Saunderson, Joey Beltram and Luke Slater amongst them – Genkins’ unofficial work experience was no exercise in scrapbook construction; it would build on the interest in a burgeoning local party scene shared by a circle of friends back home in his native Switzerland.

 
These 12 months in Germany became the cue for Genkins to cross the divide from club student to teacher in the DJ booth. Returning to Switzerland to hone his craft and make his mark at Nordstern, Mad, QClub and the Caprices Festival, Genkins has since been duelling with audiences who aren’t easily impressed and crowds demanding to be rocked the right way. Revelling in the combat provided by these au fait dancefloors, he does so with tightly built tech-lined house sets steeped in old skool aesthetics, and deep and tribal sessions pivoting on rolling funk and basslines so good they have to “be bad for you.

 
Transferring these facets to what has become a well garnished back catalogue, Genkins is one who falls into the groove of the wax and immerses himself in afro-beat patterns and funk and soul rhythms so track energy and a looped sexiness become both a priority and a trademark. His podcast for Al Vince on the French DJPod site is one such illustration, an hour-long special of focussed beats undercut with suntanned funk swaying back and forth. While you may not find much in the way of quotable from the man himself, it’s a conventional case of letting the music speak volumes, endowing Defected, Saved, Recycle, 8bit and Melisma with grooves to gorge on. ‘Funk Your Wife’ is the archetypal sun, sea and sangria travel kit no suitcase should do without, while ‘Zombie’ and ‘Disco Brass’ are strictly about glitterball gazes and prancing in platform shoes.

 
It is on Swiss house don Clarisse that Genkins has stood up and peppered with quality releases.  Solo 12”s such as the infectious ‘Tea Party Protest’ are like a festival claxon going off, and remixes for across the roster (Ross Evans, Cuartero), as well as outside of the label (Gary Beck) have made a habit of receiving fulsome praise. With Clarisse boss Mendo, he has forged one of house music’s deadliest and most intuitive duos, a twin threat that has earned approval from no lesser judges than Luciano, Marco Carola and Richie Hawtin, and found the top of dance charts with lethal, repeated accuracy. 2014’s ‘What You Say’ dismissed any backchat with a techno sortie from Clarisse’s tag- team champions that was as tough as it was stylish, getting Carl Cox, Loco Dice, Kaiserdisco, Yousef and dozens more rubbing their hands in delight as a result. In the following, his successful ‘Mouth To Laugh EP’ on Coyu’s Suara and even more ‘Crawfish’ track on Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep In Sound Miami 2015 sampler with Mendo confirmed that 2015 was an exceptional vintage for Genkins.

 
There’s something about being in a group that gets the best out of Genkins, having also released collaborations with Dani Casarano & Felipe Valenzuela, Carlo Caldareri and Salvatore Freda.  Also a big draw when it comes to circulating on compilations, Defected, Pete Tong’s All Gone series and Toolroom have all invited Genkins to pit their wits on the summer’s best soundtracks.
Yvan Genkins’ hometown Sion has a coat of arms that bears two stars. If he carries on his crowd-“rocking form, live or on wax, it should make room for a third.

 

 

 

 

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