Praise You: A Ron Trent Tribute Mix By Jimpster

Ron Trent was born to make music. It’s the only way we can describe his innate ability to craft compositions that are so beautiful and so deep that you can’t help but get lost in them. But this is no real surprise when his first track, the raw and timeless ‘Altered States’, was written at just 14 years old and still remains a classic to this day.

Recognised as one of the foremost creators in Chicago’s house scene, Ron’s partnership with Chez Damier in the early 90s paved the way for one of the most influential deep house labels of the time: Prescription Records. Along with its sister label Balance, the imprint helped launch the careers of producers like Anthony Nicholson, Glen Underground, Moodymann, Peven Everett and Norma Jean Bell, whilst carving out a singular sound that still stands the test of time. Ron’s own productions form much of the catalogue but his extensive discography, which stretches from warm, rolling grooves to minimal club jams and jazz-fusion opuses, also includes EPs and long players for Peacefrog, Future Vision, Atal, Electric Blue and his own MusicandPower.

It’s this musicality and authenticity that Freerange Records co-founder Jimpster – who alongside partner Tom Roberts is celebrating 25 years in the label game – has long aspired to weave into his own productions. To pay homage to Ron’s impact through words and sound, Jimpster treats us to an interview and a special mix that includes an exclusive airing of Ron’s epic remix of Crackazat’s ‘Simple Things’, dropping 4th March 2022.

Why does Ron Trent mean so much to you?

Ron is the embodiment of deep and soulful house. Simple as that really.

What makes a Ron Trent record so unique?

The musicality, the groove, the arrangement, the detail. Whether it’s the most minimal, raw, stripped back club jam or a lush, jazz-fusion epic, Ron does it with 100% authenticity and conviction. No messing.

When did you first hear Ron Trent’s music and what impact did it have on you?

That would have been at the Essex Barn in Braintree where the likes of Frankie Bones, Derrick May, Louie Vega and Joey Beltran were playing in the early 90s. I picked up the Djax double-pack which had the original and remixes on it. I’ve still got that record and it still blows me away every time I hear it.

What’s your most sacred Ron Trent record and why?

I don’t own any particularly rare pressings but I’m particularly fond of Love Affaire which I picked up on Clubhouse/Emotive in ’92, probably from my Freerange partner Tom Roberts who was working in Our Price at the time.

Any standout memories from dropping a Ron Trent track in a set? 

Not one single moment specifically, rather the way when you drop a Ron Trent track there suddenly becomes this feeling of ‘where are we going?’, this kind of pace and anticipation… Kind of hard to explain and the opposite of today’s big room sounds full of breakdowns and drama but the grooves lock you in and becomes hypnotising. And that’s the reason most of Ron’s productions are nine or 10 minutes long. They unfold gently and use that time and space to make their impact felt on a deep level.

How has Ron Trent impacted you as a producer?

I’m always blown away by the ‘live feel’ of his productions. It’s something I’m always working on but struggle with it. It’s like he jams out his arrangements in a studio with musicians. They never feel like he’s battling with blocks of tracks, or copying and pasting parts on a computer. They just flow. Elements enter and then disappear when you don’t expect.   That’s something I’m always aware of and in awe of.

How did you approach this mix? What did you want it to say about Ron Trent and their music?

Just some of my RT favourites played off vinyl with some nice long blends to give the tracks room to breathe. Hopefully, the kind of mix that would set the tone perfectly as you walk into a club in the early part of the evening – musical, subtle and something that draws you onto the dance floor without you even realising it!

What would you say is Ron Trent’s biggest legacy on music?

His musical influence speaks for itself, being a true pioneer of deep and soulful house music. The fact that he has never compromised or changed his vision gives Ron that authenticity which commands respect, and hopefully he will continue to bless us with great music for many years to come.

Tracklist
Ron Trent – Love Affair (Soulful Mix)
Ron Trent – Morning Fever
Ron Trent & Basil – R U House
Ron Trent – Blood And Fire
Khruangbin & Ron Trent – Shida (Bella Suite)
Ron Trent – Prescription
Ron Trent – I Feel The Rhythm
Ron Trent – Skylines
Ron Trent & Manoo – The Sound (Dub)
Crackazat – Simple Things (Ron Trent Remix)
Ron Trent – Together Forever
Ron Trent & Jay Rodriguez – Tengo Sed (Ron Trent Remix)
Ron Trent – Space Riddims
Ron Trent & Chez Damier – Morning Factory

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