Join me in my birthday celebration this weekend at the Chicago House Music Festival and Detroit Music Festival! Click on fliers below for more information.
Filtering by Category: Culture
Watch my interview as part of the first episode of a new travel series by Wax Poetics, exploring the musical heritage of selected cities.
"Ronnie Reese explores his home town of South Side, Chicago, first visiting with Todd Mayfield, son of soul icon Curtis Mayfield and writer of the new biography "Traveling Soul" (which was co-authored by Wax Poetics writer Travis Atria). They talk about Curtis's desire to own his own work, which led to starting the record label Curtom. In the second segment, Reese meets with Chicago house icon Ron Trent, where they talk about his rise through the local and international scene, which culminated in cofounding his own label, Prescription Records. In the epilogue, we pop into the (Discogs) Crate Diggers record fair and speak to cofounder Zernell Gillie, as well as chat with Ron Trent again about the joys of record digging."
J Dilla is undoubtedly one of the most influential producers of the 21st Century. His legacy of iconic beats served the backdrop for countless hip hop giants with the likes of Slum Village and Tribe Called Quest. His his solo releases such as 'Donuts' and remixes had just as much impact, so much so that his body of work in his short but productive 32 years is widely deemed as an unspoken gold standard among hip hop producers and beyond.
Coming from a musical background, J Dilla's innate understanding of the the natural groove revolutionalized how an electronic sampling machine could be used to reinterpret music; ensuring that the organic sensibilities of live instrumentation is reimagined in a contemporary format without the loss of (and in most cases amplified) the soulful essence of the original.
Here is a great tribute video to the artistry of the great James 'J Dilla' Yancey.
(Words by Hsiao-Lan Liu)
Here is the edited video for your viewing. Though this was done out of courtesy to my fans and was not really a planned FB event, the information is valuable and rare.
Francois is a wealth of knowledge and is a beacon to the landscape of the roots of underground and even commercial music today.
He happen to be in NYC in a special time when the connectivity of the underground music scene and the commercial radio were working together. FK has worked with some of our most legendary acts and recordings of our time.
"Go Bang" is just one of them.
*** Free Entry ***
Topic: An in-depth view into the production and remix of the classic recording of Dinosaur L "Go Bang" written and by produced by the late great Aurthur Russell and remixed by Francois K.
This classic broke barriers and is one of the most important recordings in music history. Francois is the man responsible for this ground breaking body of work. The sonics, the sensibility, and the depth of Francois production on this recording is mystical and unmatched. The world heard this record and it was never the same.
You will get a chance to hear from the man himself about his relationship to the creation of this masterpiece. See you there!!!
A little over a year ago, David Mancuso, the Giant and Tastemaker of Underground Club Culture of over 40 years, transcended to the higher realms. His renown musical space, The Loft, became the best kept open secret of New York City from the mid 1970s onwards, his tutelage spawning prodigious DJs Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan, as well as inspiring generations of club owners, including none other than the venerable Robert Williams, who founded The Warehouse and The Muzic Box in Chicago as a space to recreate the free spirit of The Loft.
It would be a great honor to welcome NYC club legend Francois Kervorkian and special guests Robert Williams and Detroit > Chicago transplant Peter Croce in celebration of David's everlasting sonic legacy via 'Dancing On Outer Space' next Saturday 25th November on the dance floor of Elastic Arts. Click here for more info and ticket link to this event.
Here is a snippet of Francois K describing what made The Loft so special. Looking forward to seeing you on the dancefloor for our cosmic journey >>
Felabration 2017 With Africa HiFi, Seun Kuti, Africa 80 & Bitori @ Concord Music Hall, Saturday 23rd September 2017
Get ready for a free night of art, music and Afrobeat!
Just over 2 days to go until the Felabration 20th anniversary celebration on Saturday 23rd September 2017, featuring Seun Kuti, Africa 80 and Bitori, with music filled in by yours truly.
We will have the above 16x20 framed poster by Rob Hamilton signed by the artists and put up for auction the night of the event, the the proceeds of which will go to http://keepachildalive.org in memory of Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
There will also be limited Felabration pins below, so make sure you get there early to get yours!
One more sleep until the 14th Annual Silver Room Block Party!
You can catch Ron Trent on the Harper Court Stage #1 at 8pm, there is also a special "Oyotunji Egbe Egungun" performance at 7.15pm (between Ayodele Drum Set and Ron's set), which comprises of Egungun priests and traditional Yoruba practitioners who have travelled especially to perform at the Silver Room Block Party.
An "Egbe Egungun" is a special dance and drumming ceremony to honor the ancestors, a central element in Yoruba Ifa philosophy. The Oyotunji is a special village which was set up in the 1970s as a sacred space to practise traditional Yoruba philosophy of Ifa. Read more about the Oyotunji Village here.
And don't forget to join the official After Party for the Block Party at the Promontory. Tickets are $20 on the door, click here for more event information.
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.
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!
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.
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,
Essential attendance on Friday 15th July 2016 at the Stony Island Arts Bank if you are a scholar or simply a fan of club culture. In honour of Frankie Knuckles, this is a rare event exploring disco music and its influence on house music and club culture with some of the protagonists of the era from both NYC and Chicago. Limited capacity so early arrival is advised.