Review: Larry Heard – Guidance (Calm) (House)

This review covers the house track Larry Heard – Guidance (Calm).

This track was released in 1997 as part of “The Calm & Chaos” EP.

The track starts off with some traditional percussion work. Some synth chords then come in as a voice sample comes in. The voice sample sounds like an interview response. An additional synth element makes a brief appearance. Running water then comes in as the interview piece ends. Everything then gradually drops out completely.

A percussion then starts to come in. This is joined by a high hat. A clap also joins the track. A voice sample with some delay is added (different from the previous voice sample. Some synth is then added. After that, the kick comes in. A second synth then joins the track as the voice samples make a brief return. Piano joins the track and the voice samples make a brief return.

A chime-like synth is added. The voice sample returns as the chime drops out. An added percussion comes in after. The chime-like synth makes a return after, but only for a short period of time.

The voice samples change up a bit. After that, some of the more subtle elements drop out. An alternate synth is added. After another voice sample return, the track then drops out a lot, leaving just some synths and a high hat.

From there, the kick returns. Another synth is added. After a while, the track gradually drops out again. All that’s left is some synths and the high hat.

After that, the rest of the drum kit returns along with one of the synths. One of the other synths then makes a return. The track drops out again, leaving just the synth and high hat. The high hat is then dropped, leaving only the synth to lead the track out.

One thing this track has going for it is the more or less chilled out atmosphere. That’s not to say it’s a low energy track, but it is a much more relaxed track.

The downside here is that there really is not a whole lot to grab my attention. As much as I’m into interviews, I’m not sure it really works for the first two minutes of the track. I get the impression that it’s supposed to set up some sort of theme of a music label, but it really winds up falling flat and makes the intro one of the most skippable intro’s I’ve heard in a while.

That, of course, leaves the remaining 10 minutes of this really long track. I get that it’s going for a collage sound throughout, but there isn’t really all that much that is exactly attention grabbing. There is certainly variety and it is sufficient to get me through the track, but I want to hear something that makes me interested in the track beyond just making it to the end.

There is a bit of good news in this track. That is the fact that I totally see this being something you can sample and put as music backing to something interesting. If this is combined with something like video, I can see it working quite well. Just lop off a small chunk and plaster it into the background and you got something with potential. Standing on its own, however, it feels like there’s something missing.

Overall, this is one of those tracks that can plausibly be sampled and combined with something else. On its own, it is passable enough to get to the end of the track. The interview at the beginning is a bit dull. Still, it does have some interesting chilled atmosphere going for it. So, while somewhat interesting, not something I would find myself listening to very much.


Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: