A few years ago, Keoki Franconi took a look around his Manhattan dominion and said, "I'm a superstar DJ," saw that it was good, and that was that. Having conquered the fickle New York DJ/party scene in the early-'90s heyday of all-night raves and happy hard-core clubs, the flamboyant Keoki had few detractors and absolutely no one to tell him how inane it would be to call himself "superstar." After all, how do you tell a fur-and-gold-chain-donning DJ that he's full of ca-ca when he's sold nearly 600,000 records in the U.S. alone? You don't, because he must be doing something right.
And that's what a lot of people think about his most recent album, 2001's Misdirected Jealousy on Moonshine, which rides the current wave of dance music ideas on their way up into the rushing waters of the pop mainstream. It's all about big, banging dance beats and lots of squiggling, soaring synthesizer sounds amid a smattering of pop music motifs like what Madonna regularly pays people to make for her new records in search of that one club-ready smash single. Keoki, in fact, enlisted his former roommate, Love and Rockets' Daniel Ash, to bring a rock/pop edge to Jealousy's title track, and the result is a throttling techno jam that rides the fence between being a club-only track and a radio crossover.
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Whatever your feelings about such brash musical miscegenation, Keoki really is a superstar on the decks, usually spinning the latest cuts from trance and techno clubs around the globe, maintaining a sharp focus on the audience. He'll play straight to you, and if you're the one person in the joint not shakin', he won't stop until you either kick up your feet or move your derrière out the door.