Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Musica: Dennis Ferrer's World

After more than 15 years of production work and a raft of singles that have been tearing up the dance floors over the last few months, Dennis Ferrer has finally released his first long-player, "The World as I See It" (out this week on King Street in the US and Defected in the UK).

He joins a resurgent US-based deep house roster of up and coming producers and remixers that includes Jon Cutler, Karizma, Peven Everett, DJ Spen, DJ Spinna, Ms. Patty, Mr. V, Quentin Harris and others who are building on the soulful terrain of legends like Kerri Chandler, Derrick Carter, Masters at Work, Joe Claussel, Francois Kervorkian, Thick Dick (oops, I mean E-Smoove) and Jellybean Benitez.

Now, Ferrer has known chart success in the past, particularly with his remix of Fish Go Deep's "The Cure and the Cause" (probably the biggest house track of last year along with Ame's "Rej"). But this album certainly blows all that behind and is as persuasive a case for the renewed vibrancy of house music.

Do I expect that it will change the anemic commercial reception that house music gets in the States? I doubt it despite the fact that the best in the industry, at the moment, are all US-based. But when it comes down to basics, I'm not sure that King Street records has the resources to engineer the second coming.

Still, if you want to hear something else than the latest Gwen Stefani, James Blunt or Nickleback song, do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy. The Defected release has an extra disc of alternative takes and songs that the King Street release sadly omits.

Sure, a few of the songs here have already been making the dance compilation rounds and might be familiar to some: The big room vocals of "Church Lady," "Underground is My Home," and "Change the World," as well as the techier side of instrumental house as in "P 2 Da J," "Son of Raw," and the only track in the CD I'm not too crazy about, "Destination."

Then there are the sublime "How Do I Let Go" and "Run Free" featuring K.T. Brooks and the future classic "Touched the Sky" that just blows the whole thing into the stratosphere.

Keep in mind these are club tracks and that they're presented here in their full unmixed glory (which sometimes means long beat driven intros and outros to make them mix-friendly) but if you stick through the initial beats you'll probably find that once the proper track kicks in you'll never forget them.

Considering that I still haven't heard the new releases by Mr. V and Quentin Harris and that the new 4Hero album is coming up on the 28th, Dennis Ferrer has set a pretty high standard for house music this year (and it's only February!). But it's always great to listen to a house music producer make good on his promise when so many others have failed.

The best full length house CD since, I dare say, Thick Dick's "Tribal Seduction"

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