Probably the only Chicago house producer to rate one of the best techno singles of all time, Ron Trent released his 14-minute workout "Altered States" in 1990 but moved away from mechanistic trance-state dance to embrace a comparatively musical and atmospheric deep house sound. Born and raised in Chicago, Trent learned much about music from his father, a disco DJ who ran a record pool. Still of high school age when he debuted on Armando's Warehouse label, Trent quickly became a major force in his city, then left an indelible mark on the scene in New York. By the time he returned to his hometown, during the 2000s, Trent's work as a musician, remixer, DJ, and label operator had permeated underground dance music on a global scale, and his active presence remained well into the late 2010s.
After "Altered States," Trent released a few other singles before he hooked up with Chez Damier, who had recorded with Kevin Saunderson and co-owned Detroit's legendary Music Institute club. The pair recorded singles for Saunderson's KMS (as Chez-N Trent and Ron & Chez D), then opened their own Prescription label. Their venture made waves in deep house circles with the first release, Romanthony's "The Wanderer" (1994), but was primarily an outlet for their own "buy on sight" productions. Trent gradually moved from solo productions and 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 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 his proper solo debut, Primitive Arts, appeared on Peacefrog.
Trent continued to issue 12" singles via his given name and a multitude of solo and collaborative aliases — many of which were one-offs — but full-length studio projects and commercially released DJ mixes were fairly common throughout the 2000s and 2010s. During these years, a new generation of dancers was introduced to Trent's back catalog as it steadily increased in size. Among Trent's production albums were Dance Floor Boogie Delites (2011) and Raw Footage (also 2011), released on the self-owned labels Future Vision and Electric Blue. Mix the Vibe: Urban Afro Blues (Nite Grooves, 2000), Giant Step Records Sessions: Vol. 1 (Giant Step, 2001), Deep & Sexy, Vol. 2 (Wave, 2003), and Coast 2 Coast (NRK, 2007) were among his DJ sets. All the while, Trent's enduring tracks were periodically reissued by shrewd supporters, including the Netherlands-based Rush Hour, which anthologized the revered Prescription catalog with Prescription: Word, Sound & Power (2017). ~ John Bush & Andy Kellman