Review: We've long thought that there must be some unreleased gold within Larry Heard's vast archives of unreleased productions. It seems that the man himself thinks so, too, because he's launched a brand-new series dedicated to showcasing unheard gems and hard-to-find tracks. The debut release in the series, Vault Sessions 1, begins with a genuinely historic gem, 'Chains', which boasts some mood-enhancing freestyle vocals from Ron Wilson and was originally recorded in 1987 during the sessions for Fingers Inc debut album Another World. Elsewhere, 'Electronic Debris' is an acid-fired deep house stomper from 2003; 'Seraspence' is a deep and off-kilter deep house excursion recorded in 2002; and 'Nyte Light' a deliciously stripped back and alien-sounding 2013 acid jam.
Review: A blast from the past here as Alleviated reissue an EP by Larry Heard, in his The Housefactors guise, that first came out on Black Market way back in 1990. Rolling along at a furious (by today's standards) pace of 134bpm, 'Big Theory Itself' tops an almost ambient/dream house-ish backdrop of pads, chords and aquatic sounds with a bleepy synth topline reminiscent of rave classics like Together's 'Hardcore Uproar' or Edge 1's 'Cmpnded' - though of course both came later - while 'Total Control' fuses the sounds of Chicago and Detroit to devastating effect. And both are still capable of causing "future shock", even 30 years down the line!
Review: If you dig deep house - hell, electronic music full stop - then you should be rather excited by the arrival of Cerebral Hemispheres, the first Mr Fingers album for 26 years, and the first of any kind by the producer behind the alias, Larry Heard, since 2003. As you'd expect, the album is exceptionally good, with Heard's famous musicality and fluid keys-work coming to the fore throughout. While rooted in melodious, huggable deep house, Heard naturally uses the opportunity to veer off in the myriad of different directions, touching on jazz, dub, downtempo grooves, soul, samba, tech-soul, deep acid house and much more besides. It has the feel of a genuine future classic and could well be his strongest album to date. Given his track record, that's a bold claim, but Cerebral Hemispheres really is that good.
Review: Eleven years after he introduced us to his Mr White alias with the acidic bliss of "The Sun Can't Compare", Heard returns with two more extensive, immersive and stylised slices of house. "Virtual Emotion" is a breath-taking progressive odyssey that resonates in that perfect sweet spot between house and techno. "Supernova" takes a much more structured route with full nagging vocals and a sense of proto house theatre running throughout. With promise of a new album (his first in over 12 years), it's an exciting time to be a Larry Heard fan.
Review: ome 17 years after it's original release, Fingers Inc's expansive debut album, Another Side, remains one of the greatest deep house full-lengths of all time. Here, the album gets the re-master and re-issue treatment, with the original double vinyl set being expanded to a triple to guarantee loud cuts for club play. While there are plenty of well-known Heard and co classics present - "Mysteries of Love", "Bring Down The Walls", "Can You Feel It" etc. - it's actually the long-forgotten album tracks that really hit the spot. It's on these moments - often influenced as much by '80s soul and synth-pop as acid and Chicago jack-tracks - that Larry Heard, Robert Owens and Ron Wilson really cut loose.