During the 1990s, Chez Damier and Ron Trent's Prescription Records did more than any other label to define the sound of Chicago deep house. The label's reputation is such that it's still talked about in hushed tones, with lesser-known back catalogue nuggets remaining in-demand items with DJs and record collectors. This superb, double-disc compilation from Rush Hour tells the story of the label, gathering together both much-played underground anthems (Trent and Damier's "Morning Factory" and "The Choice", the proto-boompty-via-St Germain jazz-house of Angora's "Enchantment", and so on) and sought-after selections. Thrillingly, the collection also boasts a trio of previously unreleased Ron Trent cuts, all of which are superb.
Chicago house legend Ron Trent still has the magic touch. It's getting close to thirty years since his first releases began trickling out of the second generation of the Windy City's house scene, but the producer and DJ still knows how to lay down the utter truth. "Time & Space" is a classic Trent joint, where the spark is lit thanks to warm glow of dubby beats accompanied by sweet, mesmerising licks of instruments floating in mid-air. "Bass To Love" is as gentle and moving, but the sounds linger towards the higher end of the tune, where driving pads fuse gracefully with cascading synth solos to form a thick and wide-eyed wall of house for the deeper end of the DJ spectrum
We would never be ones to challenge the importance and authority of Chicago's infamous Prescription label, a project in which Ron Trent played a fundamental role, but his more recent years on the Music And Power label aren't exactly a million miles away. This is true both in sound and general aesthetic, where Trent opts to communicate his thoughts and feelings through the medium of music. "Boogie Down", as the title suggests, is a little more funky and bass-heavy compared to his more usual deep house flex, but it makes for a welcome change to his catalogue, and any boogie made by Ron Trent is just fine with us. "In The Light" is full of rigged percussion samples, wavy piano keys, and a jazzy bass tone, in what makes for a splendidly groovy disco-house cut. Lovely, as always, and you'll dig this if you're a fan of Kyle Hall and his output on Wild Oats.
Ron Trent finished 2009 rather quietly after a prolific start to the year which saw him release a multitude of records including "Obama Tribute," "Tribute to the Lessons of Life" and "Wooden Floors & Analogue Mirrors" on US label, Future Vision Records. After a few months off, the Chicago legend returns in early 2010 with a collaboration with Erik Rico on "Sensation."
Soul vocalist Erik Rico, who is one half of International duo, Lifenotes provides the vocal duties to accompany Trent's production. Having previously worked with DJ Spinna and Mark Mac, he knows how to lay a soulful vocal onto a house track. We see these talents come to full fruition on the vocal version of "Sensation" on the A side. A strong and soulful vocal performance from Rico oozes into the deep and groovy tones of the track. As usual from Trent, there is lots of percussion and live instrumentation to go with the big, organic and expansive sound of "Sensation." It is a catchy classic piece of spacey house that has clear Chicago influences and deep, groovy basslines.
On the flip, the dub version has even more percussion, even more instruments and even more energy. With the vocal set back somewhat, the tougher groove and heavier percussion does all the leg work, with Erik Rico's vocal occasionally wafting over the top to give it a soulful sheen.
This is archetypal Ron Trent. doing his thing as only he can. With two tracks eacih having their own UNP - that being Erik Rico's vocals on the A and the percussion of the B, it is too hard to pck between the two. Seemingly, neither could Future Vision for whom the pair make a great release for.