Brett Dancer and Larry Heard at Barrumba

Brett Dancer and Larry Heard played at Barrumba tonight, and their sets were every bit as good as their sets at the Trackmode/Sound Signature party @ DEMF 2001. I hardly recognized any of Brett Dancer’s set, but maybe 30 minutes in he dropped Attend 1, which instantaneously catapulted me into dancefloor readyness. How f*ckin’ good is that song loud??? Must’ve heard it out at least 10 times this Summer and played it countless times at home. It just doesn’t get old or lose anything. Anyway, his whole 2-hour set was tight as hell, some Theo-style EQing throughout, and really got the dancefloor moving.

Then Larry Heard dropped the tempo down to about 110bpm, played some really nice slow stuff for about 20-30 minutes, then it got a bit noodly and ploddish for my taste for the next 20-30 minutes, but then he kicked it back in and all the stops were pulled. Within the next half-hour he played Energy Flash into that crazy wobbly acid song that has something to do with Whiskey. He played this insane track that I’ve heard a couple of times with this nearly Fix Flash style synth line that jocks back and forth between that and deeper pads with a drum ‘n bass style wobbly sine wave sub bass sound that devastates. After that he played a version of John Redman’s ‘People Everyday’ that sounded completely reworked from the original Cajual tune. Throughout all of this Brett Dancer would occasionally grab the EQs and jack away for a bit. 🙂 He also threw in ‘Change For Me’, Cajmere’s ‘Lookin’ For a Man’ and concluded his two-hour set with Plastic Dreams, at which point the mic dude came on.

He made us give it up for Brett Dancer and Larry Heard, which all were very happy to do, then he mentioned the special guest. Had I realized there was one, it may have occured to me that seeing Robert Owens in the DJ booth earlier meant something, or that he was working up to something when he was tearing up the dancefloor, but then they announced that he was the special guest, and it clicked. This was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. They started with ‘Can you Feel It’, with both Larry Heard and Robert Owens singing in parts, and Robert Owens freestyle singing over the remainder. The second song had a chorus that had something to do with life. I recognized it but I don’t know the name. The third song (I think) was Mysteries of Love, which was a vocal version that he sang on top of, and in response to the existing vocals on the record. Wicked! The conclusion was Distant Planet, and frankly, it was f*cking stunning. Jamie and I were completely gobsmacked throughout.

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