Cosmogonic Myth

Larry Heard as Mr Fingers invented house music. Can You Feel It? and Washing Machine are two of the core parts of house music’s DNA. In 1996 under his own name he released an album of science fiction instrumentals called Alien, inspired by Ridley Scott’s 1979 film. Using minimal kit, just three pieces of equipment (Korg O1/W workstation keyboard, a Roland d550 and Oberheim Matrix 1000 for those that are technology fans) he created nine tracks of synth led, space age musings. At times it skims the edges of 80s jazz fusion and occasionally it shows some of his proggy influences but it’s an album that has some real moments of beauty, melody and clarity. On the whole, it doesn’t sound dated either. This one is especially good, gliding in from deep space and through the outer edges of the atmosphere.

Cosmogonic Myth

The roll-call of death keeps getting longer, depressing and yet somehow completely fitting with the times we live in: R.I.P. Dave Greenfield of The Stranglers. Golden Brown was the first 7″ single I bought with my own money, a giant hit in 1981 and a song largely written by keyboards player Dave, his distinctive harpsichord and the odd time signature making it stand out on the radio.

Millie Small, the voice and spirit of My Boy Lollipop died last week too. The 1964 single was the first massive ska hit in the UK and around the world, so much of what followed that came from Jamaica came in Millie’s footsteps and as a direct result of her. R.I.P. Millie.

Funk and soul singer Betty Wright passed away from cancer at the weekend. R.I.P. Betty.

And last but definitely not least, one of the absolute pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll Little Richard died on Saturday, a gay, black, cross dressing star whose influence is immeasurable. R.I.P Little Richard.

 

Qwazars

Larry Heard aka Fingers Inc. and Mr Fingers doesn’t really have anything to prove. His mid 80s house music tunes practically define the scene- Can You Feel It?, Mystery Of Love and Washing Machine. Last year he put out a four track ep in his Mr Fingers guise that showed he still knows where to find it, using undeniably ‘classic’ sounds but updated. The standout was Qwazars, a circling, pulsing synth riff with a sense of awe and wonder. Music that floats.

You Go Out Every Night As A Single

I got in last night without a clue about what I was going to do for the blog today- nothing at all was coming up, I imagined I’d be sitting drumming my fingers on the keyboard. Out of nowhere this song popped out of my subconscious. Any Love was Massive Attack’s first single, self released in 1988. Co-produced by Smith and Mighty it’s an absolute belter, a rough and ready cover of a Rufus and Chaka Khan song, driven by a hip hop breakbeat and a stunning vocal from singer Carlton. I didn’t hear it until after Blue Lines came out and the first version I heard was on the Hymn Of The Big Wheel e.p. (confusingly titled Massive Attack). The version on there was a remix by Larry Heard and this is the one I always go to  first- slightly smoother with a clubland bass and the vocal pitched down a bit and the tempo up a tad. There’s a great, excuse me, juxtaposition in this remix- lyrics that are critical of a single man going out and pulling because ‘any love will do’ up against the slinky, sexiness of the sound of the song.

Any Love (Larry Heard Mix)