Praise You: A Larry Heard Tribute Mix by Kai Alce

With a career spanning over three decades and an arsenal of classic anthems under his belt, Larry Heard’s impact on house music is profound. Widely regarded as providing the template for deep house and lauded as being the architect of acid house, Larry’s ability to master music from all corners of the house spectrum has solidified his legacy.

Leaving his band to swap his drumsticks for a Roland TR-707 and Jupiter 6, Larry’s first attempt at production, 1985’s Mystery Of Love, saw him unintentionally create a club classic that broke the restraints of traditional club music. But this was just the beginning, his natural talent for making timeless music—under his given name and a slew of aliases— resulted in many more genre-defining tracks, from the crispy acid lines of ‘Acid Bounce’ under his Loosefingers moniker to marrying the sublimely deep and the club-ready on ‘Can You Feel It’ as Mr. Fingers.

Similarly mastering the sounds of the deep is Atlanta-based DJ and producer Kai Alce. Whether he’s channelling jazz through subtle chord switches or hovering between infectiously bouncy yet soulfully deep on the likes of Sound Signature, Sounds Familiar and his own NDATL imprint, Kai’s output builds on the foundations Larry Heard laid all those years ago, seeing him interpret his own brand of deep house without boundaries. For his tribute mix, Kai takes us through Larry’s deeper and more downtempo creations and unpacks the impact the house music innovator has had on his own musical journey.

Kai’s remix for Felipe Gordon’s new ‘Sincopa Liquida EP’ is out on 14th May.  

Why does Larry Heard mean so much to you? 

Larry Heard has been there since the beginning and is still innovative and relevant.

What makes a Larry Heard record so unique?

Depending on what he’s creating, whether it be something indelibly sooth or insane like ‘Acid Attack’ or ‘Go Crazy’, they are innately him.  

When did you first hear Larry Heard’s music and what impact did it have on you?

Record shopping and bought Mystery Of Love, the direct impact was that I’ve bought everything I saw the name Fingers Inc. or Larry Heard on ever since.

What’s your most sacred Larry Heard record and why? 

It once was the Fingers Inc. Another Side on CD before they recently re-issued it, so now it would be 12″ sealed copy of “What About This Love?” that’s signed by him, stating that he hopes he doesn’t see it up on Discogs.

Any standout memories from dropping a Larry Heard track in a set? 

More than once dropping ‘Sun Can’t Compare’.

How has Larry Heard impacted you as a producer?

I have been impacted in so many ways and at so many times, he is House Music, there is no one who exemplifies the two extremes of dance—smooth to insane —so effortlessly.  

How did you approach this mix? What did you want it to say about Larry Heard and their music?

Well I’ve always heard mixes concentrate on his more uptempo production and remixes, so here I’ve decided to focus more on his downtempo output.

What would you say is Larry Heard’s biggest legacy on music?

“House Music” IS Larry’s legacy!

Watch our documentary of Larry Heard, in partnership with Dimensions Festival.

Kai’s remix for Felipe Gordon’s new ‘Sincopa Liquida EP’ is out on 14th May.  

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