Saturday, June 28, 2014

Larry Heard-Dance 2000 (1997)


I heard that! Chilled to the bone is the cool music produced by deep house/ambient techno extraordinaire Larry Heard on his fourth studio album, "Dance 2000". Kinda odd that the '2000' extension would be thrown in there, considering this was released back in 1997, so either the '2000' holds special significance or it was simply used to give his album a digital, futuristic touch, like most of today's computer models and other electronic devices. Either way, fans of the ambient/electronica genre will have 2000 reasons to love listening to these eleven tunes! The intelligently-titled "Perpetual Radiance" was the very first in this collection that I had heard—either online while streaming some other similar chill-out music or while tuning in to a special chill-out music hour on a local radio station some years back. It's perpetually radiant alright—radiating with a calming serenity that causes me to imagine an arctic winter night. Happens to be the one selection that isn't exactly dance-oriented, pleasing your ears with a middle tempo, breezy groove instead. Everywhere else, the deep house beats take over, and they start up as soon as you've transported into Larry's ambient world on the opener, "Teleportation". I just love these titles! The cover artwork shown above may not be very eye-catching, but the track names certainly got me interested in listening to the music! Like "Hydrogenation", as another example. More of that sci-fi intelligence going on there.....and it sounds like it! The album's first moment of featuring vocals of any sort occurs on "I Know That It's You" where the guest female vocalist repeats those exact words against the looping beat and the warm ambiance. The beat, in fact, kinda reminds me of a favorite dance cut of mine by Freestyle singer Nadine Reneé called "Going Crazy". Well, one selection on this album that I'm particularly crazy about is "My Primitive Nature". There's this cool spookiness about the melody that attracts me to it. Crazy about the one right after it, too: "Dancefloor Seduction". It's the electronic, synthesized beat serving as the primary drive against the atmospheric ambiance that's the seduction here, causing me to think about any number of those 90's video game soundtracks—"Sonic The Hedgehog", for some reason, being the game series that I conjured up in my mind. Excellent keyboard work is demonstrated by the deep house producer on the pleasurable cut "Pleasure Island" (wonder if the title was inspired by the famous adventure novel, "Treasure Island"?). And the smooth downtempo groove and spacey ambiance are right up my alley on another favorite, "Racing Through The Mist". So if you haven't heard, this Larry Heard guy has been making listeners happy with his music productions for quite a while, and 1997 is a great place to begin your chill-out listening journeys with him:

1. Teleportation
2. Hydrogenation
3. Cycles Of Ecstacy
4. I Know That It's You
5. Racing Through The Mist
6. Saga Of The Evil Queen
7. Perpetual Radiance
8. My Primitive Nature
9. Dancefloor Seduction
10. Pleasure Island
11. Calm To Panic

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