Masterful Chicago house DJ brings the funk
In many ways, the story of Derrick Carter's rise to being one of the world's best-loved house music DJs is the complete antithesis to how today's DJ stars attained their status. No social media was employed, no producers retained to make or polish his studio sound, no poll votes were bought, no gimmicks announced, no press courted, no Ibiza (or Las Vegas) residencies were undertaken. Things went down the old fashioned way. A devotee of hometown Chicago DJs like Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy, Carter went from sneaking into their residencies as a teen to working in a couple of the cities better know record stores. From there, he earned his own residencies and began making his own music; a unique and trippy sound within house music that although undeniably a Chicago sound, combined elements such as soul, techno, disco and a smattering of industrial elements. His DJ sets often follow a similar path. A funk and disco filled excursion, a Derrick Carter set can veer off-piste radically with little warning, as pop, disco and soul vocals are blended over acid lines or techno rhythms. When he first started touring Europe, his long mixes, overlapping different elements of two (or more) records at the same time, creating something spontaneous and new, had simply never been heard before. It's a style that modern technology now makes easy, but not everything that classy can be reproduced by machines. And Derrick Carter's fast, funky and fun sets to this day attest to that.