Dennis Ferrer & Jerome Sydenham, collectively known as Ferrer & Sydenham Inc., go way back. Introduced by Kerri Chandler in the mid 90’s, their first major collaboration “Ko Ko” on Ibadan Records in 2000 helped establish the South African influenced hi-life, afro house sound that continues to characterize much of today’s dance music. Since then, they have continued to push the envelope with productions that feature a hybrid of musical influences and have created a sound that that they can call their own. With echoes of early Chicago house, Detroit techno and stripped down, electronic Afro rhythms, their self-coined ‘Pan African Electro’, productions, including “Sandcastles’ and “Timbuktu”, have crossed genre boundaries and reshaped the landscape of dance music.
It comes as no surprise that with such a rich vocabulary of influences, Ferrer & Sydenham are no newcomers.
The Nigerian born, US raised Jerome Sydenham, owner and founder of premier New York deep house label Ibadan Records, was initiated into the music industry in 1989 as an A&R rep at Atlantic Records. Over the next five years at Atlantic and later, East West, he honed his business skills in a major label environment, lending A&R direction to such artists as En Vogue, Gerald Levert, Simply Red and Das EFX. His underground dance music interests continued to run in tangent with his commercial A&R work at East West as he largely succeeded in crossing dance over to the mainstream with albums by Ten City and Michael Watford. His influential early productions on Ibadan Records in the mid 90’s with production partners Joe Claussell and Kerri Chandler place him firmly within the pantheon of great house music producers. His Brazilian house classic, “Escravos De Jo” produced with Claussell and Chandler, set the standard for all future productions within this genre and his follow-up with Chandler “See Line Woman”, is quite simply one of the greatest dance anthems of all time. “Sandcastles”, represents the latest chapter in his musical direction and crystallizes many his diverse musical direction.
Dennis Ferrer’s interest in production and dance first led him into the world of early 90’s electronic music. After a number of years working with the critically acclaimed Synewave label from New York he connected with Kerri Chandler who reintroduced him to the soul and funk of music from his youth via house. Ferrer’s love of such artists as T-Connection, DJ Rodgers, early Herbie Hancock, early Cameo and Confunkshun brought the soul back into his sound. Though his true passion lies in ‘black’, soulful house music, his unrivaled versatility as a producer is clearly evident in the direction he’s taken with his collaborations with Sydenham. “Sandcastles” aside, his solo productions and remixes are constant features on DJ Magazine’s Hype Charts. A list of highlights from his expansive discography speak for themselves with “Funu” (Basic Recordings), “Reach 4 Freedom” (King Street), “Wonderful People” (Metaphor) the Soul Collectives Series (Large Music) and remixes of “Can’t Stop” by Reel People (Papa Records) and Stephanie Cook’s “The Rain” (King Street).
Ferrer & Sydenham Inc. "Road To Calabar" (Ibadan Records)
Ferrer & Sydenham Inc. "Timbuktu" (TIB / Ibadan Records)
Ferrer & Sydenham Inc. "Sandcastles" (TIB / Ibadan Records /Defected)
Ferrer & Sydenham Inc. "Double Penetration" (TIB / Ibadan Records)
Ferrer & Sydenham Inc. "Deep Penetration" (TIB / Ibadan Records)
Jerome Sydenham & Dennis Ferrer "Ko Ko" (Ibadan Records)
Jerome Sydenham & Dennis Ferrer "The WJ" (DJ Tools Vol. 3) (Ibadan Records)
Jerome Sydenham & Dennis Ferrer "Freekoba" (DJ Tools Vol. 3) (Ibadan Records)
Nature Soul "River Benue" (JFF Dub) (Ibadan Records)