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D – Artists


Dennis Ferrer
New York, United States

4 Releases
Website: www.objektivity.com


‘Through the trials and tribulations of my life, music has never left me. Never left.’ With such a statement it's obvious Dennis Ferrer’s passion for music is beyond question, and this unquenchable thirst is largely attributable to his childhood: one of his earliest recollections is tink
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‘Through the trials and tribulations of my life, music has never left me. Never left.’ With such a statement it's obvious Dennis Ferrer’s passion for music is beyond question, and this unquenchable thirst is largely attributable to his childhood: one of his earliest recollections is tinkling the ivories of a toy piano aged four in a soul-and-disco-obsessed NYC household. Another vivid memory is as an eight-year-old, making after-school trips to local record shops to buy rap records, as both his ears and imagination were captured by the birth of hip hop in and around his New York neighborhood. 'I was born in 1970 but I'm more a child of the early 1980s and late 1970s onwards: As a kid I remember chic's Le Freak, and Rapper’s Delight” he recalls. He also scoured the Columbia Records catalogue that his parents and aunts would use to purchase their music, and bought records with interesting names, such as the Doobie Brothers, or Kiss because of their striking LP covers. 'They were great times. We listened to Chic, Sugar Hill, Kiss, Rush and AC/DC - everything rolled side by side, there were no genres or the genres were easy listening, rock and soul.’ ‘And that's my approach to music today: I grew up in the whatever age, where you would listen to everything and I'm doing the same thing now,' continues Ferrer. 'That's why people are surprised by my variety like if I do a tech thing, or an Afro thing, or a soulful record. That's the way I grew up. I didn't listen to one type of music.' 'Let's get this right: I'm not a producer. I'm a song writer/producer.' Ferrer is quite literally an exceptional producer, in that he writes 90% of what you hear on one of his records, from lyrics to melodies to beats. His specialty is songs ('That's what I grew up with and that's what wrong with this business, there's not enough songs'). Forthcoming LP, The World As I See It, redresses this imbalance: with a healthy representation of song-based house - or dance music with feeling and a message. He is also exceptional because he's the anti-thesis of the anonymous dance music producer: he uses his real name - no pseudonyms, monikers, or abbreviations. That's because he's prepared to stand up and be counted, putting blood, sweat and tears into his records: 'This is who I am, this is not my job, this is what I love to do: when you get one of my records, there's quality - you're not getting cheated, I put my heart in it.' Inspiration, however, can strike at the most unexpected of moments, and you have to be prepared: 'You can be taking a dump (I know TMI!LOL!) and be humming something and come up with a lyric and then have to run to the studio or write it down,' laughs Ferrer. 'Life is my muse - whether I'm having a sh*tty day, or I am happy or pissed off, what I write is coming from my heart. He’s been schooled by house and electronic music's leading lights of the last 15 years including early 1990s acid techno pioneer Damon Wild (behind Synewave Records), Kerri Chandler who set up a studio for Ferrer in his front room, and 'brought the soulful element into my life', while Kerri's good friend Jerome Sydenham, 'taught me arrangement and nuances in records.' 'As long as it's 4/4, bumping and a club record, I'm happy - I don't want to make anything sleepy.' Ferrer doesn't mince his words, but unlike many egotistical producers he can back it up with the real deal or at least three of house music's and the global dance floor's biggest records of the last three years: Sandcastles, Son Of Raw, Timbuktu, Most Precious Love, and The Cure & The Cause. He makes music with a vibe, and as long it meets the criteria of ‘4/4, bumping, club and not sleepy’ he's a happy man. Last thing Ferrer is concerned with is fitting a genre or scene. Which is useful for a visionary such as Ferrer, as barriers between dance music genres currently seem as relevant as the Berlin Wall. His new found label Objektivity is case in point. The first release produced with Baltimore legend Karizma is throbbing, bassline, techno at it’s finest. Releases to follow include a collaboration with Scandinavian folk singer, Ane Brun and Danil Wright. Ironically enough, Ferrer provided the catalyst that began breaking down dance music's Iron Curtains: Ferrer’s absolutely monstrous collaboration with Jerome Sydenham, Sandcastles (2003) got the ball rolling and straddled the tech-soulful divide. 'We knew we had something special, but the question was would anybody get it?' At first nobody got it - the deep, soulful house heads were shaking their heads and saying saying "..Huh...what's this techy sh*t?..." LOL At the Miami Winter Music Conference some house heads were just confused. I felt so bad, I thought I botched and felt horrible. But a couple of months later it caught on, and it was full on a year after its release.' ‘This was the one record that joined the tech crowd and the soulful crowd - you would hear it in both a tech club and a soulful club.' Next up was Ferrer's refix of Blaze & Barbara Tucker's Most Precious Love, that provided one of the biggest house records of 2005 with a new lease of dance floor life: 'It was in the trash bin of my computer, I was thinking I can't make records like this.... it's too "happy", again I thought I messed it up. Hahaha..’ Ferrer's take on this year's all-conquering house anthem, Fish Go Deep's The Cure & The Cause, which has sucked a generation of lost UK Garage ravers into soulful house clubs, was another experiment in pushing the envelope. 'I was thinking I want to do something really different, so I put a tuba in it. Again I thought I botched it, again no one got it, and six months later it jumps off. Again, a year down the line it's in heavy rotation.' Ferrer is one of the most well rounded producer/song-writers in dance music, let alone house. He's produced myriad styles (ambient, acid techno, tech, gospel, Afro, soulful), and has learnt from masters including Damon Wild, Kerri Chandler and Jerome Sydenham. It's an apprenticeship that many aspiring producers would trade their right arm for, and by combining this with strong ideas and passion, his consistency and quality over the last five years has been peerless. And the logical step for a producer at the top of his game, is an artist album: The World As I See It. Dennis debut LP for King Street / Defected is an amalgamation of myriad, global sounds, expertly honed into soul-stirring house music and each track is a journey, with subtle detail: the soul from the belly gospel-tech flavored Church Lady, takes an unexpected twist four minutes in; the nourishing love song Touch The Sky is underpinned by off kilter, fuzzy electronic melodies and bongo percussion; the largely instrumental P 2 Da J is full of sharp and punchy chords and melodies, mesmerizing chanting and underpinned by a relentless, thumping bassline; similarly Son Of Raw's fuzzy electronic feel is bumping, with stabs of pads and pianos; Transitions' grooves undulate, tumbling, then pumping and steadied tribal drums; How Do I Let Go is a heartbreak elegy, recalling that desolate moment of realization that a relationship is over and will never be the same again; while Destination is pure dance floor drama which sees the Balkans on an aural collision course with Brazil and of course, underground New York house. Discerning house dance floors across the global village couldn't have a more apt - or unifying - soundtrack. 

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Underground Is My Home (feat. Tyrone Ellis)

Marco Anzalone Remix

Underground Is My Home (feat. Tyrone Ellis)

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