Ron Trent

Mix The Vibe: Ron Trent "Urban Afro Blues"

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It was only a matter of time before the Mix the Vibe series worked its way through the crème of New York house DJs before arriving at Ron Trent. Although a Chicago native, Trent has made most of his career in the Big Apple, doing as much as any of its natives to spread Gotham's deep house gospel. This double-CD collection is divided into urban blues and afro-blues mixes, which seems superfluous given that Trent's specialty is bringing the sound of the jungle on to the dirty streets. So the difference between the two mixes is slight, at best. Both maintain Trent's slow chugging groove throughout, although the afro mix does have a slightly fatter boom to the bass kick as opposed to the urban mixes' Walkman-style thud. The afro side also focuses more on diverse instrumentation, with flutes and congas carried on top of the groove, while the urban mix relies on the vocal talents of Boyd Jarvis and Kimara Lovelace, among others. All of the suspected names are here, in either producer or remixer form, including Kerri Chandler, Joe Claussell, and Chris Brann, who contributes two of his Ananda Project cuts. But the vibe belongs strictly to Trent, who, regardless of which way he leans, keeps things deep and powerful. This is music to keep you going all night.

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