RA checks in with progressive producer Thomas Penton.
Who do you think is number one on the Beatport prog charts in the first week of 2007? 16Bit Lolitas from Holland? Charlie May vs. Sasha from England? Nope. Top of the pops is Florida native Thomas Penton. Florida has always been a progressive stronghold – Chris Fortier, Austin Leeds and Jimmy Van M spring to mind – but these days with the prog centre of gravity shifting across the Atlantic to the U.S, Florida exports are becoming even more prominent.
Thomas Penton is a name that’ll ring bells to those who followed the genre during its dark, percussive phase in the early noughties, but if you’re not a progressive obsessive, he might be under your radar. Penton is one of the genre’s true believers, and his persistence is paying off. He first emerged into the spotlight on big labels such as Fade, Inversus and Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto label, and six years later he’s having even more success with recent releases receiving praise and plays from DJs as varied as Armin Van Buuren, Steve Lawler and Chus & Ceballos.
Perhaps the reason for his staying power is that he keeps his fingers in a variety of pies: besides progressive, Penton also produces prog trance on Captivating Sounds, tribal house on Forensic and electrohouse on his own label Electric Candy. But his biggest release of 2006 wasn’t in any genre at all: Penton’s 'Essential Series' wasn't a 12" or compilation, it was a collection of ready-to-use samples put together for budding dance music producers. Not just a progressive obsessive, but a nice guy looking out for other producers then. RA checks in for an update on Thomas Penton.