Saturday, August 19, 2017

30 Years of House Music – Kerri Chandler

Kerri ChandlerKerri Chandler has paved the history of House Music since the early days with his rough beats and fat sound. Remaining true to his beliefs which led to the establishment of a unique trademark.
Not only his talent, but first and foremost his full dedication to his art and love to his fans would be for much on this. Seeing him expressing with the same obvious pleasure his skills. Be it as a sound engineer, a master of ceremony. Or eventually a host whenever coming to jam along his friends behind the decks. The way he did for instance back at the beginning of the 2000’s at the memorable Sunslice Festival…

Kerri Chandler happened to touch the turntables for the very first time at the early age of 9. This with the help of his dad (Joseph), himself a former DJ too. Aged 45 nowadays, he stands on a consistent reportoire with classics such as ‘Inspiration’ along with Arnold Jarvis, ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Rain’. Not to mention ‘Reach’ which he produced for Kenny Bobien and ‘Bar A Thym’ to name but a few.

“There’s nothing like Jersey”, he explained me back in 1997. “There, you have a unique atmosphere. But you don’t have anymore that somewhat combined effort which gave birth to the Jersey Sound back in the days of the Zanzibar. Makes more sense to be talking about a bunch of individualities doin’ their thing on their own regardless their origins within a global New Yorker move…”

Kerri Chandler is as straight forward when coming to talk about Dance Music. “We just kill it when thinking evederybody has to remain in the proper places. That House has to remain House, Garage to remain what it is, etc. This is just how we’ve managed to maintain the existence of ghettos when so many good things may appear from almost everywhere. 35 years ago we could enjoy as much ‘Rapper’s Delight’ and a song by the likes of First Choice at the same time. Which to me was the founding principle of Dance Music…

We’ve got so far away from this nowadays. A majority of artists, wherever they may be coming from, tend to gravitate around a specific formatted sound. So ironical when coming to think of the ever growing diversity of the sounds left to our disposal with the help of an ever more performant technology! This gives me the feeling that these peeps have turned themselves into machines. Into so to say sound photocopiers. As if they were afraid to express the slightest difference!”

Kerri Chandler‘s not only influenced by the New York sound. But whatever may catch his attention from a place to another he may get to. Beginning with the Paradisio and the Rallye where he would build his Disco/Jazz background back when he started spinning in the early 80’s. As many souvenirs comin’ back to his mind. From The Trammps to The Salsoul Orchestra. From Bob James to The Crusaders. And his grand dad who was also a Jazzman.

But he also has some less good ones. Such as this ‘Kaoz 6:23’ thing which he added at times to his name recalls it… “That 6:32 stands for June 23. This has nothing to do with my Birthday. But rather with a series of unpleasant things which happened to me at this specific date. One year, my house got into flames. Another one, I got burglarized. Then my girlfriend and I broke up. Then later on I would find myself in a scrap. This just means that each June 23 sees the… chaos in my life, to make it short.”

As for his style, he describes it as follows… “If I ever had to review it, I would say it’s layered on Jazz with strong bass. You can almost feel the spirit which is mine by the time I’m recording. The only thing that counts to me is the vibe. I feel it almost instinctively even though I can modulate it during the mixing process. I’ve learnt a lot from people like Joe Claussell and JoVonn. It’s kinda different when I’m collaborating with singers. This coz’ I first and foremost want them to render everything they have in their performances…”

Chosen few
Kerri Chandler – Hemisphere (Freetown Inc.)
Kerri Chandler – Mix The Vibe: Kaoz On King Street (King Street Sounds)
Kerri Chandler – Trionisphere (The Album) (King Street Sounds)
Kerri Chandler – Computer Games (Deeply Rooted House)

Interview: Kerri Chandler

You might also like…
30 Years of House Music (Pt. 5): Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley

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