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.