Thursday, Mar 17th 2005, 09:51 PM #1 DJs: Central Park & Satellite Records & Remix Magazine
Ron Trent started spinning records in 1982. Hailing from Chicago, Ron's music career began at the early age of 14 when he produced a house-techno track called "Altered State" that later went on to become an underground classic in the dance scene in the UK and the States. By 1987, Ron hit the professional circuit, and started to play at mobile parties and high schools in Chicago and became known for his musical taste and DJ ability. "At the time we were using a lot of music that was being created locally in Chicago and also some New York and European influences such as Capricorn and the New York City Peach Boys." Ron was also playing a lot of rare classic disco and soul 12"s and albums that made him stand out from the crowd. "We were trying to introduce classics into the house blend that was prevalent at that time," shares Ron. Unable to find music that embraced the new trend, he started to build a name for himself as a producer creating his own original material for parties. Ron focused on instrumental music combining drum programming and keyboard to create a unique sound. "I was greatly influenced by Larry Heard, Roy Ayers and even Pat Metheny," reveals Ron, "and was able to release an EP with the Chicago based label, Warehouse Records in 1990." The release brought Ron a lot of attention resulting in a new career in record production and local hero status in the underground club scene. In 1993, Ron established his own record label, Prescription. "We were mainly putting out our own material but producers such as Abacus, GU and others from around the world got involved," says Ron.
One of the breakout house producers of the late '90s, though he'd been working for a decade before, Cevin Fisher is responsible for a growing number of club favorites including "Freaks Come Out," "(You Got Me) Burnin' Up," "Music Saved My Life," and "House Music." Fisher began DJing while in his teens, first in his father's New Jersey bar and at various college gigs but later in a spot at the mecca for garage music, Club Zanzibar. From there, he moved to New York in the late '80s and began working on production with employees like Motown and Arthur Baker's Shakedown Studios. Convinced by Danny Tenaglia to begin recording on his own, he debuted with several anthemic tunes like "House Is a Feeling" (as Sunday School) and "Hands on Love," songs that carried on the vibes of early house pioneers Tony Humphries and Larry Heard. Early singles "The Way We Used To" and "Shine the Light" earned international clubplay, though it was 1998's "The Freaks Come Out" that pushed him into the mainstream house stratosphere. Released on at least five different labels, the single made Fisher's reputation as a suave producer, with preeminent vocals on his cuts. Two compilations appeared in 1999, the mixed Dangerous Disco and the Nervous compilation Cevin Fisher's Nervous Tracks. One year later, Underground 2000 appeared on Razor & Tie. Fisher has also remixed Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Robert Miles and Kevin Aviance.
Grant was born in April 1971 just on the outskirts of London. From a very early age he showed more than an interest in music but oddly enough it wasn’t what he wanted to do with his life. He was always the class joker and overall entertainer through his school years and it was maybe his love of cinema that convinced him to become an actor. To this date, he swears that if things hadn’t unfolded the way that they did he would have gone to R.A.D.A and who knows, maybe we would be watching him on the silver screen now. After blagging his way into a Djing gig, just because he had bundles of records and bundles of lip, he became quite popular in the local area and ended up doing a few birthday parties and Christmas do’s. This soon became frustrating due to the musical requests though – “They were asking for all sorts of rubbish and although I admit that I bought some pants records in my youth, I was 16 now and had a devastating collection of 70’s disco, 80’s soul and early house…. I was being asked for ‘Congratulations’ by Cliff Richard. It had to stop… It was offending my ears….” So Grant teamed up with a friend to ‘put on a few parties’. This quickly escalated into mini-raves and all sorts of trouble followed. As Wishdokta Grant bounded onto the stage, his face painted with 3d blocks and astounded crowds Europe-Wide with his eclectic blend of rock, hardcore, ragga and breakbeats. During his time at Nice ‘n’ Ripe he had been discussing ideas for a new label with his long-time partner, Kate Ross. In the summer of 1995 Swing City Records was born. It has established itself as one of the main international House & Garage independent labels with a strong following worldwide. Grant doesn’t have anything to do with the actual running of the label himself, he prefers to keep himself locked away in the studio leaving all the hard work to his partner Kate Ross, he says, “I wouldn’t have the first clue about running a label, all I know is music and it’s what I do best, If Swing City were left to my devices I’d be selling tapes at Oxford Circus tube station”. Grant’s Production / Remix of Negrocan’s “Cada Vez” released on Swing City in 1999 has become a Universal smash topping the pop charts in several countries and has so far totalled World-Wide sales of nearly 2 million copies. To date Swing City has featured a host of international producers and continues to supply high quality house music for the dance fraternity. Grant has remixed and re-produced songs for a multitude of Artists. He unwillingly takes a breather from the mixes every now and again so he can concentrate time on his own productions. Unwillingly due to the fact that he enjoys tampering with other people’s work. His remixography gives a little insight into why he is constantly in demand as a remixer. As always he continues his production & remix work with recent clients including Tyler James, Keisha White, Bebel Gilberto, Reel People & Brand New Heavies. 2004 saw Grant’s busiest ever Djing schedule which has taken him all over the World and earned him a nomination as ‘Best House DJ’ at the Urban Music Awards.
CE CE ROGERS
One of the most prestigious vocalists in house music, CeCe Rogers is a legend in the house music movement. Vocalist, musician, composer, CeCe first set his sights on becoming a pianist. It wasn't purely his own idea, but with a little coaxing from his mother, he eventually ended up studying piano at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, CeCe began studying piano at the age of five. His mother, a music teacher, introduced him to gospel, the music that forms his musical foundation. He was considered a child prodigy and at the age of 9, CeCe was a featured musician on the weekly television program " The Gene Carroll Show". Born Kenneth Rogers, CeCe was given his nickname by a childhood friend, so named after his early passion for chocolate chip cookies. Later as an 11-year-old he performed on the "Soul City Show" with James Brown. So impressed was the Godfather by the young boys dancing that he drew comparisons between him and Chubby Checker and christened Rogers "Little C.C." after him. Shortened to CeCe, the name stuck. Moving to the New York area, Rogers taught voice and piano, as well as doing session work with such stars as Melba Moore and Freddie Jackson. He also formed his own group, CeCe & Company and their repertoire included Jazz and R&B tunes. Some of the group's vocalist at the time was Sybil, Adeva, and Kenny Bobien. The group performed in venues all over the country. In 1988 CeCe hooked up with Marshall Jefferson and recorded the track "Someday". "Someday" to this day ranks as one of the true greats. Rated number 3 in MixMags's 100 greatest singles of all time. No single record distills the collectivist, loving spirit of house music. No surprise that the simple, but potent downward moving chord sequence was used later on every record ever, including "Sweet Harmony" by Liquid and ripped off on the Farley and Heller version of "There But For The Grace Of God", and "Finally" by CeCe Penniston. While the vocal line was nicked for "Some Justice" by Urban Shakedown. M people would later remake "Someday". An Anthem of the genre since its release, the song has sold over ten million copies worldwide and spores the club hits "All Join Hands", "Forever", "Brothers and Sisters" and "No Love Lost". Respected throughout the world as one of the pioneers of house music, CeCe has produced, written and performed with Marshall Jefferson, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, George Morel, Sounds of Blackness, Luther Vandross, Janet Jackson, Kym Mazelle, Jocelyn Brown, Aretha Franklin, Mas Collective, D'Angelo, Kenny Bobien, SuSu Bobien, and Duran Duran to name a few.
If you want the most cutting edge house music available, look no further. Melvin Moore is one of the most skilled (and unfortunated the most-underrated) DJs in New York City. He has headlined with such talents as Erick Morillo, Seb Fontaine, Tony Humphries, Marques Wyatt, Doc Martin, Danny Tenaglia, Derrick Carter, Peace Division, Dimitri from Paris and Larry Levan, to name a few, at some of the biggest nightclubs around the world. Melvin is the former Head of A&R at Subliminal Records N.J. where he obtains materials for all of their labels: Subliminal, Sondos, Subusa and Subliminal Soul. He is one of the residents along with Eric Morillo at the Subliminal Sessions Thursday night parties at one of NYC's newest clubs, Discotheque. In addition, his own Saturday night party, Back 2 Bassixs NYC won top honors with Danny Tenaglia's Be Yourself party as Best House Music party in New York for 2001 by Flyer Magazine NYC!!! Melvin's skill can be heard on one of Subliminal's mixed CD compilations, "The Story So Far - The Secret Weapons, along with labelmates, Richard F. and Jose Nunez!!! Known for his seamless mixing and great ear for musical gems, he is a force to be reckoned with. His musical range is from deep, vocal garage to hard-hitting progressive tech-house. NYC publications such as The Village Voice, Time Out, Paper Magazine, and Flyer have used such
praise as "legendary", "cult hero", "underground hotshot DJ", and " ...one of the best DJs New York has to offer" to describe him. He has produced tracks with Cevin Fisher ("Come Home" on Velocity Records) and also with Jovonn ("I'm a Lover" on Kult Records). In March of 2000, he released "The Rhythm" for Metafor Recordings on the Deep Textures Volume One EP. More recently, Melvin re-edited Bob Sinclar's " Ich Rocke", Solid Grooves - "Ask Mr.", Junior Jack vs. Kid Crème's mix of "Insatiable", and he remixed "Abyss" by Kobbe & Fabb X on Subliminal/Sondos Records along with Erick Morillo.
DJ EBAR has been spinning cutting-edge underground dance music professionally since 1991, currently working underground tribal tech for the bigger clubs and deep, funky house for the more intimate parties. Beginning his DJ career in the Chicago area, he subsequently lived in Florida, Phoenix, Paris, and New York City. His mixing style is comprised of long, seamless, textured mixes that build in intensity as he progresses into his unique vibe. His years of experience, coupled with his ability to read dancefloors, adapt his set and fluctuate energy levels has impressed crowds around the world and led him to play with the likes of Josh Wink, Matthias Heilebronn, Angel Alanis, Barbara Tucker, Tiesto and Moby. EBAR has played for 15 years everywhere from Ireland to Thailand, Paris to Miami, Amsterdam to Chicago, Republic of Panama to London in clubs like Cielo, Spundae LA, Folies Pigalle, Nikki Beach and Sullivan Room. He is currently based in Manhattan and is managed by /Maison Music who also handles Carl Craig, Gene Farris, D’Julz, DJ Pierre, Roy Davis Jr, etc. The past 2 years have seen releases by EBAR on Halo Varga’s Bluem Records, Pound Boys’ Look At You Records, Player Records UK, New York’s Megamen Sounds, a remix of Robbie Rivera’s ‘Bangin’ The Beats’ on Episode Records, two remixes on major label RCA Victor, a set of remixes of Vivian Green on Sony/Columbia. EBAR runs Sifted Recordings in association with his studio partner Ramie Burns. February 2004 saw EBAR releasing his first commercially released DJ compilation mix CD, “made2lounge”, with German powerhouse ZYX Music and American titan Sony/Red Distribution to be distributed, marketed prominently and sold in retail outlets around the world including Virgin, Musicland and Sam Goody. During the following spring and summer of 2004, the CD could be heard playing at the top lounges and most exclusive nightspots in Manhattan and beyond. The CD, despite being a mix compilation, also features 7 tracks written and composed by EBAR, some unreleased, ranging from deep sexy house to more straight-ahead pumping material. EBAR has also joined forces with Scott Richmond to run the prestigious deep house label Central Park Recordings. Housing such soulful house music luminaries such as Ron Trent, Osunlade, Sandy Rivera and Jon Cutler, the label is considered by many to be the highest quality soulful house music label in the world. Central Park also puts the focus on DJs by producing top-line events at clubs throughout the country, such as Nicolas Matar’s highly recognized Manhattan club Cielo.
Scott is the CEO Co-Founder of Satellite, co-owner of Central Park, Pitch Black & Pipeline 6 In 1992, Scott left school to start Satellite Productions with Jonathan and work at Net Magazine. Scott wrote for Net Magazine and also organized the first-ever record pool to service college radio stations with underground dance music. Satellite Produtions was instrumental in introducing the rave scene to New York City's outer lying suburbs and on Aug.22, 1992 they organized the first event in a long series of many historical ones. Sputnik 1 featured the region 's top talents: amongst them Frankie Bones, Adam X, Scott Henry ,James Christian, and Keoki. At the same time Scott started Up North Productions in the New Paltz/Poughkeepsie area, with a different partner, from which a series of ten successful events were organized. Not forgetting about his musical roots, Scott continued to produce. In 1995,Scott released another groundbreaking track with John Selway entitled “Keep on Climbing” which was featured on John Kelly 's funkydesertbreaks compilation released on Moonshine. The single had a house side that was a favorite of Junior Vasquez and a breaks side now considered to be a Florida classic. It was the only record released on the Satellite Records record label. 8-Ball Records, another store in New York, sold 150 copies of “Keep on Climbing”, which brought great deal of attention to the Satellite store at the time. Whereas most promoters would have been content with pocketing the profits made from their events, Scott and Jonathan saved the money they made from Satellite Productions and reinvested it back into the scene. In 1993, they opened their first record store, Subtopia Records with Jeff Porter, and a year later they left that location and Jeff to start Satellite Records. Scott and Jonathan sought to create an environment bound by music and not by status. Today, the store has evolved to become a multi-faceted organization that is considered to be by many the place upon which the dance music world converges. The company now features three major market record stores, an online store with an overwhelming real audio catalog, three label imprints and a newly minted vinyl distribution operation. Even though Scott deals with the nuances of running such a large operation, he still finds time to lend his conservatory trained ear and forward-thinking dance music sensibilities to all the three Satellite imprints (Central Park, Pitch Black and Pipeline) as co-A&R. In addition, Scott has Djed regulary in New York as well as traveling to Chicago, San Fransisco, Atlanta, Montreal, Tel Aviv and other cities around the U.S. Despite all of Satellite's current success, Scott refuses to become complacent, he is inspired to realize his global vision for dance music to give all people an opportunity to hear and enjoy electronic dance music.