Join Ron Trent in discussion following the strange trend of white dance-music DJs who pass themselves off as black artists. The European producer Guy Tavares chimes in from The Netherlands on what he sees as overhyped controversy. Piotr Orlov, who covers dance music for NPR weighs in on what this all means for music fans. Click below to listen to the show. This topic was inspired by the article from Thump Magazine 'When White Producers Co-Opt Black Identity', published 27th October 2016 and of which can be read here.
Another addition to the Dancefloor Boogie Delites album, "I Just Wanna Dance With You" first premiered on the Japanese DJ show Dommune. Now this highly sought after Jazz Funk selection is now being made available for your play exclusively from MUSICANDPOWER.
Less than a few days to go, Detroit peeps! Make sure you don't miss this very special occasion in celebrating 40th anniversary since the doors of the Warehouse opened in Chicago and changed the music world forever.
Click here for ticket and event info.
See you on the dancefloor!
THAT last Boiler Room Track from 2014 everyone has been asking for is finally out on limited digital release....
I remember Frankie>>>>
This photo of my cousin Lee Collins and Frankie Knuckles taken by me captures one of the moments I always recant. When I am interviewed most times the subject of FK or my favorite sound systems come up. This photo has both of these subjects behind it.
The time was 1991 Sound Factory NYC during the New Music Seminar...
In the booth with Frankie as he was embarking upon musical journey during his Saturday night residency.
We popped in as we were doing our club hop that night. I remember everything vividly, every moment, every song, and the different sentiments relayed through the music. Lee had to drag me out of there....
Those of us that followed Frankie knew that he was a master at creating moods and presenting his sentiment in his style. There was a level of sophistication and higher learning in the way Knuckles delivered his sound.
Nowadays I look back and I try to relate the importance of experience and content to younger artist, DJ's, and less experienced , something that seems to get lost in peoples reach for fame. When you get touched by the right moment, the right mastery, and sacred music
it aligns "YOU". The thing that keeps most from this is their own lack of openness and humility. When I was learning and coming into my own as did others, you had no choice but to be humbled in the presence of the experience, be it a person or a moment. This is where many miss the point. This is how you learn and receive the components of mastery.
Frankie Knuckles "IS" a master teacher that even in his transition teaches us
how to reach for that ethereal wonder that we call music.
Thanks for your beauty FK>>>>
Photo courtesy of Ron Trent ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
A big thank you to those to turnt up (yes...TURNT UP!!) at Robert Williams Birthday Celebration last Saturday. We all had a blast and it was an honor to host such an event for Mr. Williams who has been such an inspiration. We made sure all of the elements were in place to remind us of how he set the tone for Chicago underground clubs: from the juice bar, fresh fruit; down to the selections of Ron Trent, Lee Collins and Duane Powell. Big up to Elastic Arts also for letting us have a space to create such a special event.
Also a big shout out to Noni Michelle, who created the special portrait above for the event. Alabama State University Alumini Noni has been holding her own at recent Music And Power events, designing our flyers and creating special artwork at various MAP events. For more information of Noni Michelle's work, visit her website http://nonimichelle.com/
Last but not least, it was a historic night marked by our guest, Mr. Nicky Siano, who stayed in Chicago especially to play for Mr. Williams' birthday. Historic because it was the first time a NYC peer of Mr. Williams played for him, an event that is way overdue considering the contributions both of them gave towards the world of underground and commercial club culture.
Its all connect through rhythm and sound>>>
Like every story there is a beginning>middle>end> Knowing how to approach either on the journey is an art form. All very important. I was asked to set the vibe for the evening and I welcomed the opportunity to set the tone. It has been 3 years since my first Boiler Room in London so enjoy this edition recorded here in Chi-Town>> MUSICANDPOWER-
Special shout to my Fam for coming to hang out with me Big Bros Robert Williams( The Founder) and Larry Hope (One of Chicago's legendary stylist),@Lee Collins , Sadar Bahar along with my inner crew Hsiao Lan Magnifique ,Rob Mckay, and Augustus Taylor>>>
Energy is everthing....
Special Thanks to Gabe, Storm, and the Boiler Room Crew>>>
>>> Playlist (artist, track name) >>>
Weather Report, 'River People'
Ron Trent DFBD, 'Pop, Dip & Spin'
North End, 'Tee's Happy'
Aurra, 'Checking You Out'
Asso, 'Don't Stop'
Deodoto, 'Whistle Bump'
Exodus, 'Make It Together'
Juggy Murray, 'Inside America'
Ron Trent DFBD, 'Touch'
Patrick Cowley, 'Get A Little'
Azymuth, 'Fenix (Ron Trent Re-Edit)'
Louie Vega featuring The Winans, 'I Choose You (Mid-Tempo Mix)'
Chez & Trent, 'The Choice'
Black Man's Techno, 'Rude Boy Science (Trinidadian Deep Remix)'
Conjure ,'Pressure Release'
DJ Clock, 'Unity'
Quick, 'Zulu Man'
Bolla, 'Makusa (Joe Claussell Remix)'
Ron Trent feat. Lono, 'Man-Child'
Mateo Matos, 'New York Style'
The Pockets, 'Come Go With Me'
Ron Trent releases his latest Music And Power online exclusive track, 'Melting Pot Presents: The Master Plan Re-Edit 2017'. I sat down with the producer to talk about this new release.
"Back in 2009, I released 'The Master Plan - Tribute to Obama' as a celebratory tribute to the man,", says Ron Trent. "It was a time of elation, a time for change." The release of the original tribute track came after the tumultuous 8 years of George W Bush in office that had seen the second Iraq war and the financial crisis. Obama's victory signified a new beginning, that a charismatic African-American man of integrity, known for his community activism, had become the Chief-In-Command. In his 8 years at the White House, Obama has proven his track record by bringing the US economy back from the red, establish the Affordable Healthcare Act and, with his wife Michelle, become role models whom people from all backgrounds aspires to around the world.
As we see the Obamas leave the White House gracefully and enter a new life as civilians, what is the reason behind re-editing a track that harked back to the beginning of the Obama era? "I re-edited this track to symbolize the ending of Obama's two terms in office and leaving in grace", says Ron, "however our current president begins his term in chaos. Where he has been a successful businessman, I've never looked at him as a political figure. Coming from a Pan-Africanist background, I know that anything is possible when it comes to the world's politics and history not being on the right side of things. This piece of music represents a staff of historical pertinence and legacy, since art is supposed to be a representation of the pulse of the times and tell stories. I wanted to re-approach the track sonically with new elements to signify the revival of the track, and also represent elements of a march echoing the protests that we are seeing today".
'Master Plan Presents: Melting Pot Re-Edit 2017' is exclusively available through Music And Power online digital music store on Gumroad, to purchase the track in WAV format click here.
(Interview by Hsiao-Lan Liu)
Listen to one of the unreleased tracks "Black Magic Woman" featuring Harry Dennis, part of the Prescription Anthology from Rush Hour.
For further information and pre-ordering, visit the Rush Hour page below:
I am writing to you today to thank you greatly for sharing such inspirational words on your CDR interview. I have been very moved by all the advice you shared on this and its given me countless encouragement to follow my heart and to create music with all the challenges life throws at you.
Ron Trent CDR Berlin - https://vimeo.com/95441094
“What fuels this is the emotion, the emotional content”
If I was a writer,
I would have a pen.
I would write down what I feel,
I would try to communicate and articulate with the best words that I could possibly use to get you to understand exactly where I’m coming from.
Same things happens when you're creating.
You find the best sound that will articulate where your coming from emotionally and you write that down with whatever instrument you have.
That is the focus.
And wanting to see it all the way through.
If I was a painter,
I would have paint,
Have colours .
My idea would be to communicate with these colours, my message or what I’m feeling at that time.
The things is …. is to get back into yourself…
Use that as the driving force
Using your skill level as in terms of techonogly to be able to articulate that.
Thats my process.
I have something in my head, something in my heart and I put it down.
May 5th 2014
Thank you kindly for all the inspiration,
Long awaited "Ron Trent presents – Prescription : Word, Sound & Power" is now available to pre-order from Rush Hour Store, a 6-LP box set celebrating the highlights of Prescription Records with classics such as 'Choice' and 'Morning Factory' aside some unreleased gems. Watch the below short film to discover more about the project in Ron Trent's own words and follow the link here for more information on the box set.
Stay tuned for this exclusive Fireside Chat interview I did for the Red Bull Music Academy Radio, broadcasting live this Thursday 1st December @ 6am PST / 8am CST / 9am EST / 2pm GMT. Click the logo below to check out the show on the RBMA website >>>>>
Ron Trent has been synonymous with the Afro Sound since the mid 1990s, as he is considered one of the pioneers of infusing Afro Beat into dance music. Growing up with a heavy influence of percussion in his music repertoire, the use of congas and hand percussion was second nature in his production. Spiritual Jazz, Blues Rock, Brazilian Jazz and Afro Beat were big proponents in Ron’s cultural upbringing. The likes of Fela Kuti, Roy Ayers, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, and Azymuth to name a few, were artists from whom Ron Trent drew his influences. Coming from a Pan Africanist world -view prospect, Ron’s approach to music as a DJ and producer has always been rooted in the connection to Africa and the influence of diverse tributaries birthed from African music in the world.
Around 1994 Ron started to incorporate his first instrument, the conga drum, into his productions. This led way to developing a specific sound of his own that he is known for today. Unconsciously pioneering the Afro House of today along with the likes of Timmy Regisford, Joe Claussell, Kerri Chandler, Jerome Sydenham, Masters at Work and Francois K., a movement was created. Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Tony Allen, and Femi Kuti have largely been respected on the dance scene all the way back to beginnings of dance culture at the Loft with David Mancuso and further into the Paradise era. Playing Fela songs amongst a wide array of musical formulas was natural for the underground dance culture. Hearing a Fela song right next to Larry Heard or Santana were an elemental formula that DJs and dancers alike were open to. Ron started building a forum for African based sound with his party 'African Blues', which started in Chicago around 1995.
He later brought it to NYC in 1997 for a special MKL celebration with DJ Joe Claussell and an additional live performance by Jephté Guillaume and Boukman Eksperyans, cementing Ron’s connection to presenting world music on a wider scale. By now, Ron also became highly regarded in the Japanese market for the Afro sound, using it in various forms of propaganda to promote Fela’s legacy.
The very first launch party of 'Jump N Funk', spearheaded by Wumi, Debra Seely, and Rich Medina, was done with Ron Trent in collaboration with his weekly residency at Giant Steps sessions NYC, held at the Shine nightclub on West Canal Street. 'Jump N Funk' went on to being known as the party championing the conscience of Afro Beat and its founding father Fela Kuti. As post-9/11 aftermath affected the social climate of NYC, Giant Step Sessions were ceased in 2003.
Ron then joined forces with Sonia Hassan to birth a new Afro Beat inspired event called 'AFRICA HI-FI', introducing a musical concept to Chicago that had not been present since Ron’s previous years with African Blues. With consistency, Ron and Sonia created a brand which elevated the awareness of World music and flavors from around the world, inspiring others to start events and produce music inspired from Fela and his Son and the sound that Ron helped spawn in previous years: the heavy driving rhythms, percussion and revolutionary spiritual vocals.
Ron’s production work is reflective of his connection to the Afro Beat sound, notably his remixes and original work with Tony Allen, remixes for Seun Kuti’s 'Dem Eyes' and for the late great Papa Wemba. Various releases including DJ compilations started in 2000 with the release of 'Urban Afro Blues' on Nite Grooves and later 'Abstract Afro Journey', which were critically acclaimed “must haves”. Ron Trent has also been the opening DJfor several Femi Kuti shows since 2000 starting in New York. This story continues to be written as there is host of many things to come, with more events and music connecting the dots.
New release on Music And Power, the remastered digital version of Liquid Love, available exclusively to MusicAndPower.com. Click below to get your copy now:
Be sure to check out the forthcoming exclusive mix on Red Bull Music Academy Radio where I pay tribute to the windy city of Chicago. The show will go live Monday 19th September at 9pm BST (3pm CDT), click on the below link for further information
In April we lost one of my greatest all time inspirations....
On that I day i had to create something for myself to release the emptiness that was numbing me.
On that day I made "IN THE LIGHT" Purple Dust....
Young Prince and his early days in Minneapolis recordings with 94 East had a big influence on this piece along with a long line of other Prince productions.
I can not say enough about Prince and his influences on my prospective on music especially as a fellow Gemini and how we deal with creativity.
Been playing this out lately and getting a lot of feedback.
Currently Supported by the likes of Danny Krivit, Ge Ology, Zernell Gillie, Enrico Crivellaro and Elvis Leon Armstrong.
Until the dawn abundant Respect for our Genius that touched us...