Kerri Chandler [US]
No one unites a club like Kerri Chandler. No one’s kick kicks harder. No one’s keys carry more emotion. No crowd reacts with more energy than when the New Jersey great is behind the decks. His life-long obsession with sound makes him famously meticulous about the setups of the clubs he plays, and that always results in electrifying sets of soulful, authentic, positive house music.
Chandler has unquestionably helped shape the house landscape, not only from the booth and the studio, but also as an A&R. His Kaoz Theory label has worked with contemporary talents like Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler and The Martinez Brothers, while his influential MadHouse Records has just celebrated 25 years of agenda setting releases with a storytelling anniversary album. Proving he is at the vanguard of the scene are his critically acclaimed back-to-back sets with French protégé Jeremy Underground as Underground Kaoz at flagship festivals. His residency at the world famous DC10 and an ever full DJ diary that takes him on endless trips around the world are also testament to his on going vitality as an artist.
Next to various awards and recognitions for his outstanding contribution to house music in recent years, Kerri has been on the cover of Mixmag, DJ Mag (UK and USA), and featured on Resident Advisor’s respected The Hour podcast series. In 2017, he served up a standout entry into the hallowed DJ-kicks mix series with a seamless selection featuring his own keys over an autobiographical and hugely personal mix that was like spending an afternoon in his living room with the man himself.
Of course, Chandler came up in a different era, when no one cared about genres and all that mattered was bringing people together. His hometown was a cultural melting pot with different scenes round every corner, from funk to soul, jazz to hip hop. Those essential early learnings have stayed with him and mean he remains one of house music’s must see acts. He is someone who can join the dots and take you on a true musical adventure. He never fails to draw unreserved reactions from the dance floors he plays to, and always with a beaming smile of his own.
As a producer, he is just as vital and unmatched, having started out as an impossibly young man working in studios. From his 1990 debut right up the present day, his peerless discography reads like an evolution of deep, soulful house music. Rather than mechanical grooves, he lays down spiritual rhythms that permeate every part of your body. He combines powerful, driving drums with heart swelling hooks to devastating effect.
He is affectionately known as the ‘Stevie Wonder of house music,’ and for good, reason: over the years, he has laid down countless timeless tracks and albums that exude a rich musicality, brim with character and reach way outside the confines of the dance floor for their inspiration. His definitive cuts on labels like Atlantic, King Street Sounds, Nervous and his own Madhouse have spawned legions of copycats and generation after generation of new fans. Kerri Chandler, then, has been a house legend for many years, but what sets him apart is his unique ability to blend tradition with innovation in fascinating new ways.