Review: Larry Heard – Rebirth 10
There is a certain irony surrounding the feature of Larry Heard on the latest mix series from Italian record label Rebirth. In 2016, some thirty odd years after he first entered a club Larry Heard certainly remains as relevant to dance music as he was decades ago. However, the limelight had begun to diminish slightly, the flames had begun to glow more faintly, it was as though Larry Heard's golden age was about to fade beyond resurrection. The lights went out. Then, somewhat hauntingly, a strange thing began to happen.
Towards the tail end of 2015 rumours began to emerge of a Mr Fingers relaunch, then a Gherkin Jerks revival, then tour dates. Now, mid summer, we are in the midst of a fully formed Larry Heard rebirth if you will.
Larry Heard has long had an affiliation with Daniele Contrini's record label. Across two hours he offers a seamless blend of melodic twists and turns. Opening with lushly layered piano there is a sense of expectancy as graceful notes glimmer. Known for his diversity in both production and style this is a release which could have taken a number of musical directions.
Taking an understated approach he blends a subtle assortment of deep and soulful house, much of which has been released recently. It's shimmering and moody, low key yet purposeful. Larry Heard has always been a selector of the highest order however at times there is a heartfelt craving for the harder, more rugged approach which was notoriously associated with Gherkin Jerks and in some of his appearances as Mr Fingers on Alleviated Records. The soul and love remains, it simply lacks punch.
However, what is lost through musical aggression and depth is restored through Larry Heard's ability to play music on a level upon which few can rival. Each blend is systematic, crafted with intricacy and attention to detail. The mix flows perfectly and weaves its way to an almost euphoric climax.
Larry Heard is hard to place fault upon. Few have the capability to deliver a mix of such intrigue across two hours, even if it does lack edge, his return to the forefront of dance music is valuable beyond words.
Buy the release HERE.