fran&co, a DJ and Producer hailing from Frankfurt (Germany), launched his musical career as a Drum&Bass and Jungle DJ at the young age of 14. About 5 years later, fran&co started to DJ House and Techno. It was back in 2006 when he became the youngest ever resident DJ at legendary Monza Club in Frankfurt (DE).
Currently he is the head honcho of the infamous DEJAVUE.click crew, running a record label and regular club nights at Club A.R.M. in Kassel (Germany).
After releases on labels such as My Favourite Freaks and BluFin Records, he can truly be described as a highly talented up and coming producer. His tracks have recently found great support by some of the biggest names in the industry, including Nicole Moudaber, Richy Ahmed, Santé, Tocadisco and many more.
We had the chance to talk with fran&co aligned to the recent release of his ‘Luliimba’ EP.
Electronic Groove: Hi fran&co. We’re happy to chat with you. Can you let us know about your musical background and how you became a DJ?
fran&co: Hi EG, first of all, thanks for the invitation. When I was a teenager I started listening to jungle and drum & bass. Since the scene was slightly small in Germany, I thought it would be nice to learn how to DJ in order to contribute to the development of the local drum & bass scene.
With some of my money savings I bought second-hand turntables and started to collect records. One day the older brother of one of my friends gave me two cases full of techno and house vinyls. That was the point in time when I slowly started to re-orientate my musical taste, that was around 2002-2003.
Electronic Groove: Where does the name fran&co come from?
fran&co: My real name is Francesco and Franco is a common nickname. However, since Franco is quite a popular Italian name, I had to make it more unique in order to not be confused. Besides this, when you type in Franco at Google, then the search result is bringing up something I do not want to be linked with.
Before using the fran&co moniker I have performed my DJ Sets using my real name, for example during my four-year long residency at the legendary Monza Club in Frankfurt, my gigs at Sven Väth’s epic Cocoon Club Frankfurt or world famous U60311.
Electronic Groove: You’re originally from Frankfurt but currently living in Kassel. What can you tell us about the scene in your hometown?
fran&co: The scene in Kassel is pretty big for a rather small city. Kassel has always been important for the German techno culture. In the 90’s the club AUFSCHWUNG OST / STAMMHEIM was beside the OMEN in Frankfurt and the TRESOR in Berlin, one of the most important clubs in the country. If you ask any German raver aged 30 or more what he can tell about techno scene in Germany during the 90’s, they will tell you immediately STAMMHEIM!
Club A.R.M. in Kassel, where I play regularly, is sort of the successor club of STAMMHEIM and has a really great reputation all over Germany.
Especially at this time of the year the city is full of even more creative people from all over the world and our homebase Club A.R.M. is offering an amazing lineup, bringing in names like Monika Kruse, Joseph Capriati, Mathias Kaden, Dominik Eulberg, and of course various DEJAVUE.click events.
Furthermore, there is another mentionable collective based in Kassel ‘Die Raussens’. Those guys are doing very well for the local scene, not only limited to parties!
“We are a collective of more than ten people with different involvement levels”
Electronic Groove: We’ve heard you’re involved with DEJAVUE.click. What’s the concept of the collective?
fran&co: We are doing showcases all over Germany and on a regular base we present our own nights at Club A.R.M. Recent guests include Reinier Zonneveld, Secret Cinema, Sascha Dive, Arado, Harvey McKay and Drumcomplex.
We are a collective of more than ten people with different involvement levels. For instance, the core team consisting of Tino, Descha and myself are handling planning, organization, marketing and bookings. While there are a few other people supporting with more promotional activities.
Beside myself we have four more resident deejays. Our newest member is Cocoon Recordings icon Toni Rios, we are really proud to have him on board for our DEJAVUE.click events. Toni will be playing for us every 2 – 3 months. Furthermore, we have Vaelistic and Robert Carll from Berlin, and of course Tino Priolo.
Electronic Groove: And you run your own label, right?
fran&co: Exactly! After several years of events we have decided to start a DEJAVUE.click record label. We could convince some very cool artists to contribute to the project. Yam Yam a.k.a. Matt Star (House Wax) will be on one of our upcoming releases, then we have Sascha Dive (Cocoon), Toni Rios (Cocoon), Marc Miroir (Paso Music) as well as Alexandros Djkevingr & Greg Ignatovich (ElRow).
Some of our releases will be marked as charity releases. Earnings from those releases will be donated to local social organizations, for example, a project for people with disabilities. My girlfriend is a volunteer for one of the organizations we are supporting currently, she was a major driver for the idea to do charity releases.
Electronic Groove: In regards to your productions. What are you currently working on?
fran&co: Thank you for asking this question! There are quite a few things in the pipeline.
Together with my DEJAVUE.click buddy Tino Priolo we are producing a new EP for BluFin Records. Furthermore, there will be a full EP featuring remixes by DASO and Sascha Kloeber on The Plot Music in September. A sampler with tracks by Piemont, Hermanez and Matchy & Bott is also planned on The Plot Music for late August.
On the 14th of July my new ‘Luliimba’ EP was released on DEJAVUE.click. You guys hosted a premiere for the vocal edit of my track ‘Vibe’, thanks a lot for your continuous support.
One last thing that I want to mention is a pretty oold schoolsounding house EP that will be out on DEJAVUE.click, with remixes by Sascha Dive and a second notable remixer. That EP will be our second charity release for 2017 and I am really looking forward to it!
Electronic Groove: What is more enjoyable, Djing or producing?
fran&co: I think they are both not really comparable. On one side, it is very enjoyable to be in the studio, together with my production partner, and play around until we find a good concept or idea, but sometimes it is also very frustrating if you have some with a great potential and you just cannot finalize it. If I would be sitting in the studio by myself, then I would most probably not get anything finished. Patience is not always my biggest strength.
On the other hand, I love to DJ and take people on a journey. If you get booked to a club your playtime is mostly two hours. Personally, I prefer playtimes of 4 hours or longer, because I am convinced that two hours are just not enough in order to tell a story.
“After several years of events we have decided to start a DEJAVUE.click record label”
Electronic Groove: Apart from dance music, what do you like to listen when you’re at home or relaxing?
fran&co: I really love acoustic music and The Beatles or Jefferson Airplane. Also experimental sounds from Boards of Canada or the various monikers of Richard D. James aka Aphex Twin. But after a long night at the club I usually prefer silence.
Electronic Groove: What are some of your favorite tracks on rotation?
fran&co: There are few classics I love to play and that have always worked for me, for example Codec & Flexor’s Time Has Changed, Ferrer & Sydenham’s Timbuktu or the Anthony Rother version of ‘Little Computer People’.
At the moment I am following what is happening closely on labels such as MoBlack Records and The Plot Music. Both labels follow completely different styles, but in my opinion both deliver innovative music and that’s what it is all about. I do not limit myself to any subgenre of house or techno music. For me it is not about the name of the producer or the category of the genre, for me it is all about the groove!
My current top five include tracks from various sub-genres:
1. Tino Priolo – Dreamsgate [DEJAVUE.click] 2. Mabiisi – Boyakaa (Aronica Remix) [MoBlack Records] 3. Rick James – ZDS [Toolroom Recors] 4. in and Gunman – U Know [Cajual] 5. Fran&co – The Bells (Alexandros Djkevingr & Greg Ignatovich Remix) [DEJAVUE.click]
Electronic Groove: If we go to your hometown, what should we eat and where?
fran&co: Definitely Eritrean and Ethiopian food! In Frankfurt there is a place called ‘Im Herzen Afrikas’ (In the heart of Africa), pretty close to the central station. You can sit down in the sand and you eat with your hands. The food is great, the service is awesome and their prices are totally fair.
In Kassel there is an amazing Italian restaurant, right opposite to the main documenta 14 exhibition, the place is called ‘Fratelli’. The owners are such nice people, the atmosphere is great and they offer the best Italian food in town.