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Album Review

As one of the forefathers of Chicago house, Larry Heard has constantly recorded under the pressure of equaling his seminal early releases. In fact, many of his peers seemed to slow down or halt their music making as the mythical "old school" deteriorated. Ironically, only Heard ever went so far as to proclaim an official retirement from music. Yet he has continued to release albums on an almost yearly basis, each one continuing with the deep electronic groove he founded in the mid-'80s. This release from 1999 finds Heard experimenting with a slightly different tone than his usual work, which is almost inevitably locked in a tight 4/4 beat. Rather, Heard allows his kick drum to explore various break patterns on almost every track. His warm analog sounds are also replaced by a more glacial tone on tracks like "Love Theme 2001" and "Kaleidoscopic Events." "Ominous Sky" breaks things apart even further with a fractured beat and baleful piano notes taken from the low end of the register, while "Interlaced Expressions" would sound more at home on an Artificial Intelligence compilation than a deep house set. Only "Missing You" easily recalls Heard's typical modus operandi of a steady warm thud and faintly obscured vocals. Yet despite these superficial changes in sound, this is still clearly a Larry Heard album, proving again that any significant artist should be able to alter his flow but still leave the same impression behind. And while Genesis might strike Heard fans as a temporary departure, there is still plenty of the familiar soul to be found.


Born: 31 May 1960 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

He never sold as many records as some of the other Chicago house producers, but Larry Heard is arguably the best to come out of the scene, providing the crucial marriage between the warmth and communal feeling of disco with the energy and futurism of house music. His classic mid-'80s singles on Trax Records -- as Larry Heard and Mr. Fingers, as well as Fingers Inc. with the addition of vocalists Ron Wilson and Robert Owens -- set the template for every house-influenced producer to come later, and...
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Genesis, Larry Heard
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