Bronx-born Dennis Ferrer has certainly been around the block: after producing some techno EPs for Damian Wild's Synewave label in the early nineties, his love for electronic dance music was re-kindled years later when he met and became friends with soulful-house producer Kerri Chandler. Together with Chandler and Jerome Sydenham, Dennis Ferrer played a key role in the emergence of a new sound, fusing deep, soulful and African elements together with the harder-edged aesthetics of Detroit and Europe.
'Transitions' is a perfect example of this. The track kicks off in tech-house fashion with a cheer-inducing bassline and moody strings, until a break and a suggestive male voice announce that styles are about to change: “House!” For someone in his mid-thirties like Ferrer, the word “house” may evoke memories of a time when “to be house” was to be a part of something new and exciting, when the love for this music would break down the barriers between races, religions and sexual orientations. Ferrer gives us his version of house by kicking up a storm on the drums and percussion, together with chants of “Keep this soul/funk” and “I'm with you”. Yes, it sounds trite and clichéd on paper, but Ferrer pulls it off with so much style, it not only works and will drive crowds into a frenzy – it may even touch your heart.
The flipside 'Destination' is a well-executed little oddity with a tango feel, it's even got an accordion in there, for chrissakes! Considering the rather limited popularity of tango elements in the current club sound, this will probably get most plays on headphones and home stereos though.
'Transitions' is the stand-out track here, and although it's deceptively simple and straight-forward, it may yet turn out to be a milestone for Dennis Ferrer. At the very least, it has the potential to unite all your friends on the dancefloor, and that counts for a lot.
Tracklist: Dennis Ferrer - Transitions/DestinationA Transitions