Photos by Pato /
Derrick L. Carter at Tank photo gallery
Line-up /Derrick L. Carter (Chicago), Antonio Zambarelli, Toby Neal
Derrick Carter is one of House Music's undisputed real-deal main contenders. Raised in Broadview, Illinois, 20 miles west of Chicago, Derrick started DJing aged nine, inspired by the amazing pre-House Disco sounds he heard being played on WBMX FM by the Hot Mix Five. While his school teacher mother ensured that his abilities as a student were not wasted, it was enivitably music and DJing that drew his passion, often resulting in his lunch money being spent on new records. And so, despite gaining a scholarship to study engineering at university, Derrick dropped out aged 19 to work in a small downtown record store. With Chicago's House scene at its peak, Derrick served local DJs their beloved vinyl while also starting to put on his own parties with friends and eventual flatmates, Mark Farina and Chris Nazuka.
While Derrick started producing music as a teenager, laying down his own vocals over a sparse rhythmic track, it was not until the late 80s that he released his first track, 'Alkaline' on Derrick May’s label. A steady stream of productions then flowed until 1995, when he teamed up with Bristol-based fish monger Luke Solomon to launch Classic Records. The label has nurtured the quirky House sound that the duo love, as witnessed by the releases from artists such as Gemini, Sneak, Home & Garden, Isolee, Markus Nicolai as well as Derrick himself. While being quite varied stylistically, his solo productions on other labels under monikers such as Symbols & Instruments (with Chris Nazuka and Mark Farina), Oneiro, Tone Theory and Rednail Kidz have always focused on sexy, funky bass lines and strong rhythms, culminating in the release of his 2002 debut production album 'Square Dancing In a Round House'.
As a DJ, Carter uses his decks to create new music out of music, and while his work is rooted firmly in a classic Chicago house tradition, his sets often incorporate old school jazz, disco and basically whatever else takes his fancy at the time, leading the dance floor creatively from the hip without resorting to the obvious classics or big tunes. Tracks blend over three decks for exquisitely long stretches of time, multiple vocal and melody lines are dovetailed with a storyteller's imagination and beats and rhythms are layered so fluidly that one only tends to notice the density of the mixes when Carter pulls back and isolates a single record amidst the fray.
This will be Derrick's first visit to Tank. All we can suggest is that you get in early or risk missing out on what is sure to be more of his pure, bone-shakin', funked-up, four deck sonic masterpiece.