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Kerri Chandler – Trionisphere Live review

A perfect time to reappraise a titan of deep, jacking Stateside house, Kerri Chandler’s Trionisphere gets a full digital release from King Street Sound. A man as spiritual as he is groovy, he put Jersey on the house music map and thoroughly blesses every single song he makes with a huge amount of soul and sheer positivity. An influence on the great Todd Edwards amongst others, Trionisphere nicely collates all the tricks learned over a career that began back in ‘91.

The album was originally recorded at Tokyo’s Space Lab Yellow club in 2003, with Chandler deep in the mix using two turntables, a Final Scratch system and a DAT machine. The digital version is available in both unmixed format and as a continuous mix (which also features Kerri talking, singing and playing his Korg Trinity keyboard live over the top).

Without any pandering or over-bloated intros, “Tribe Of The Night” throws you straight into a hypnotic sweat from the get go, thanks to granite hard kicks and some spellbinding chopped accapella shots. The funk really flows at points – “Something Deeper” for example uses a laidback jazz-fusion loop as the sound bed for a furious alto sax solo, heavily played with dub delay. The same goes for “Yellow”, which keeps itself silky and chilled in a Donald Byrd vibe, while more solos are fired off around the track. There’s also more soulful, gospel-tinged house nuggets than you could possibly hope for spread over the album – “Heal My Heart” for example features Treasa Diva Fennie and intertwines vocals and strings to perfection, while “Faithful” goes out on a garage tangent with some precision hats and deep, multi-layered male vocals. “Faithful” very clearly shows Chandler’s religion spilling into his beats, as does the Rhodes-speckled “Let Him In”.

“Ye Yo Ma” shows off yet another string in Chandler’s bow, mixing up Afro-Latin rhythms and choruses around an itchy, modern funky beat. With a wide-range of percussion and some jazzy guitar, it’s one of the album’s stand-outs, as are the sharp funky snares of the tropical worker, “Coro”. With so many superb arrangements and sounds from across the spectrum of house music, this album can’t fail to impress.

Oliver Keens