Take a Chance with Kai Alce

Imagine 10,000 people from all walks of life descending on one of Atlanta’s oldest and most important historic districts for a day of fellowship and dancing. This is ‘House in the Park’, co-created by Kai Alce, who’s latest release ‘Take a Chance’ just dropped exclusively on Traxsource via his own NDATL Muzik imprint.

The massive green space of rolling terrain and surrounding Victorian era scenery set the back drop for the Northern house head spirit to combine with true Southern hospitality. This is just one of reasons that House in the Park is such a truly special event.

City officials have even declared the festival a city wide holiday as it has become a central point of unity for anyone ready to partake in paradise for a day. For weeks after, the community’s newsfeeds remain filled with exalted praises, photos and videos trying their best to explain the emotions of the truly electric gathering to the outside world.

picture credit: Stephen Williams Photography

picture credit: DLS Photography

Kai in the mix at ‘House in the Park’

Hometown hero Kai Alce closed down the event to a rapturous pavilion of dancers, hungry for each and every record. It’s no surprise then to hear Kai Alce’s own music met with cheers and applause. Recent releases like his ‘Distinctive’, a reference to Kai’s Atlanta parties, remixes of Jeremy Elis’ vocals on ‘Into Your Story’ and Dangerfeel Newbies’ ‘What Am I Here For?’ standout, even against a selection of some of house music’s best moments over the past three decades.

Those who can’t make it to House in the Park can consider these cuts time capsules to the event; a little slice of that heaven on earth. During the surrounding weekender, many people can be seen proudly rocking one of Kai’s NDATL Muzik t-shirts with the tagline: “Life is good after a session.” I mention that it seems open ended, but ask if there’s any specific meaning for him.

Kai agrees, before saying –

It’s just meant to describe that feeling of accomplishment after a session, whether a music session, a photo shoot or even putting the finishing touches on a painting.

As part of the surrounding Atlanta Weekender events, Kai Alce also threw an edition of his Distinctive residency at The Sound Table with Theo Parrish as his guest. The pair played loosely with sometimes scratchy, certainly cherished, records from their timeless collections.

Trying to get the story behind Kai Alce’s latest on NDATL Muzik, ‘Take A Chance’ it’s clear the record came together serendipitously. With a career that goes back to Detroit’s famed Music Institute, it’s no surprise Kai’s connections run just as deep as his music. Always a humble and accessible artist, when a local supporter named DJ Rico approached him for a track to write to, Kai obliged, even being completely unaware Rico could sing.

Meeting up in the studio, Rico’s smooth delivery and vocal ability left Kai amazed. A month later, the trumpeter and vocalist Kafele, who had already featured on ‘Above the Sky’ and ‘Complicated’ on Ralf GUM’s GOGO music, took Kai up on an invite to work on some music. Whilst listening to a few things, Kafele laid down his trumpet parts wherever inspiration hit.

The result is a slow-burner of a love story rich with emotion and human elements. Scattered hand percussion and full-bodied bass sit alongside the studio performances of Rico and Kafele, building on Kai’s soulful and organic foundations to become ‘Take a Chance’.

An example of something that doesn’t happen to just any producer, Larry Heard called Kai a week later to see what he was working on. After being sent ‘Take A Chance,’ he instantly asked for the parts. In a quick turnaround, Larry sent his mixes over a few days later in the form of a buttery vocal and dub.

Larry Heard aka Mr. Fingers

As Kai recounts –

Pushing my luck, I asked him if he would do a quirky version and he comes back with his Mr. Fingers Ambient Acid mixes – I was floored!

This extra push provided a completely new take from the altered mindset of Larry’s most famous alias, propping up the original’s soulful vocals and horn on a bed of lush chords and moody, reverberating acid bass.

With impeccable timing, a nurturing city behind him and also a little bit of luck, we have Kai Alce to thank for not only the institution that is House in the Park, but also another Mr. Fingers classic remix.

Real house music heritage in its purest form.

Kai Alce Bringing Down House in the Park 2015 from Glenn Jerome Everette on Vimeo.