Probably the only Chicago house producer to rate one of the best techno singles of all time, Ron Trent recorded his classic acid workout "Altered States" in 1990 but gradually moved away from mechanistic trance-state dance to embrace a deep house sound with plenty of African percussion. Born and raised in Chicago, Trent learned much about music from his father, a disco DJ. Still of high-school age when he recorded "Altered States" for Armando's Warehouse label, Trent reissued the track on the Dutch label Djax-Up-Beats in 1991, with remixes by Carl Craig.
He released a few other singles during the early '90s before hooking up with Detroiter Chez Damier, who'd recorded with techno star Kevin Saunderson and owned the legendary Music Institute club during the '80s. The pair recorded singles for Saunderson's KMS ("The Choice" as Chez 'N Trent, and "Don't Try" as Ron & Chez D), then opened up their own Prescription Records. The label made waves in deep house circles with its first release, Romanthony's "Wanderer." Trent and Damier also contributed to the label, with the Prescription Underground EP. The duo also recorded a pair of singles with Maurizio, the Berlin producer whose productions for Chain Reaction launched a wave of experimental techno singles.
Trent gradually moved from solo productions or collaborations with Damier to recruit a team of producers and vocalists named USG, for Urban Sound Gallery. Later based in Brooklyn, Trent and USG debuted with a beautiful deep-house cut titled "N Came U" on Clair Audience. He also gained a different partner, Anthony Nicholson. In 1999, two Trent full-lengths appeared on British labels. The first, USG's African Blues, was released on Distance, while the proper solo debut, Primitive Arts, appeared on Peacefrog. ~ John Bush
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