KERRI CHANDLER
Kaoz on the dance floor

by Dan Prince August 2017 MUSIC Read in PDF format N15/2017
KERRI CHANDLER NOBODY DOES IT QUITE LIKE CHANDLER.

“Where I grew up in New Jersey there was some kind of war going on in the street every day” recalls Chandler down the phone from his NYC home, moments before heading to the airport and another far flung gig. “Our area was a real ghetto. I used to have guns in my face all the time, people always robbing and stabbing, it was really dark. Thankfully I had my escape route thanks to music.” Back then a teenage Chandler would be hanging out with the likes of Whitney Houston, Latifah and Biz Markie - all of them recognizing there was only way out of their bleak neighborhood. Today Kerri is one of the most revered figures in dance music; loaded with a discography to die for, always promoting new talent via his labels and one of the few artists as much in demand at a cutting edge club in Berlin to a main festival stage in Australia…the man quite simply has music flooding through his veins. Over in Ibiza it’s his residency at his beloved Circoloco where we are now accustomed to the KC magic, a pairing that on paper didn’t look right but has blossomed into one of the finest in White Isle history…

What did a dude who survived the mean streets of New Jersey think of love island when you first arrived?

Haha! I thought it was like an adult Disneyworld, anything you could ever want was here.

You have kept your popularity and credibility with Ibiza’s ‘in crowd’ whilst many of the elder statesmen US DJs are overlooked by the likes of DC10. How did your love affair begin with the crazy gang?

I have to be honest, Ibiza was never on my radar Dan. I had heard about how the island had gone all bottle service and I was like nahhh! ey had been trying to get me for a few years and by chance I was playing in Rome where their offices were. I’d heard my great friend Tony Humphries had just played so I thought I’d listen to their pitch. ey explained to me that they wanted a change in music policy and were going to create a new deep sound on the island and asked me to be one of the main guys to head it up. I was a little hesitant at first but they reassured me that they were different from other clubs in Ibiza. ere was no VIP and it was like paying the best deep afterparty. So I gave it a go.

And then you had the Mr Fingers ‘moment’…

“Yes sir! It was the Circo Closing Party and I was pushing the crowd as far as I could go just to see what I could get away with. e farther I went, the farther they went! And then I dropped ‘e Sun Can’t Compare’, the clouds parted, the sun came out, a plane flew over, people were crying, hands were waving everywhere and I’m like, ‘that’s it – I’m sold, where do I sign?’. e biggest compliment I can give Circoloco is that I didn’t have to change who I am, we are a perfect fit and an unstoppable force together.

Two of the biggest stars of Circoloco are The Martinez Brothers, who like yourself started DJing in public in their early teens…

It’s funny, I first heard from Steve when he was 13 and he mailed me wanting advice on how to make it as a DJ. It’s been really interesting watching their journey, those guys are like my little brothers today, I’ll always look out for them. Like we all do for each other

It sounds like you have a big family at the club!

Haha yes I do. I know it’s a cliché but we really are that tight. We don’t just play together - we hang out together, we phone each other wherever we are in the world, we play each others tunes, we eat at each others houses, we always look to see who is on a line up wherever we are heading…and we love watching each other play. I’ve never had this bond before, I love it.

Your late father warned you off the perils of drugs when you were a child, how do you cope with all the DC-10 lunacy going on around you?

Everyone knows I’m just there for the music and they respect that. We’ve all been young and think we’re invincible and as long as my friends are responsible it’s all cool. Certain places and music seem to channel this chaos around music and that’s one of the things that makes Circoloco such an irresistible club.

You mention the word chaos, you actually created your label Kaoz Theory purely as an outlet for the Circoloco artists to release their new music. What is coming out next from the label…

We have a busy time ahead. First up is my own ‘Six Pianos’ drop with three fly remixes courtesy of Loco Dice, Stephane Ghenacia and AudioJack. The wonderful DJ Deep delivers his ‘For The Love Of Kaoz’ EP in August and then Stephane Ghenacia & …omas Roland bring their own EP in September. Go check.

Big on the rumour mill right now is that there is a new Kerri Chandler in the makings…

There sure is. In the middle of it right now, working title is of course ‘Love, Respect and Admiration’… watch this space Ibiza.

So more music from Kerri’s heart?

Oh absolutely. Every song I’ve ever made is about a life experience that I hope other people can relate to. I always remember hearing one of my heroes Quincy Jones talking about making music. He said think of each instrument as a voice and ask what that voice would be saying. If it’s a bassline you’ll get a sound or a picture, if it’s a flute you think of birds flying and these things will paint a picture of the colour of your day. I think of what the sound is and the mood and the tone I want to convey, even if it’s instrumental. And that’s how it will always be.

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