Veteran Detroit DJ and producer K-Hand still knows how to make electronic music feel alive | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Veteran Detroit DJ and producer K-Hand still knows how to make electronic music feel alive


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If the brass behind the Grammys really wanted their Bee Gees tribute to be an uproarious sensation rather than a limp nonstory, they should have ditched Little Big Town for Detroit DJ and producer Kelli Hand, aka K-Hand. The B side of her newest 12-inch, Project 6 EP (released on her long-running Acacia Records), kicks off with an edit of Melba Moore’s version of the Bee Gees’ “You Stepped Into My Life.” Hand strips Moore’s version of some of its gaudiness, instead infusing it with enlivened percussion and an alert melodic pulse that together work to yank people toward the dance floor much like the Bee Gees did in their heyday. And she knows a thing or two about getting people moving. Spinning since the 80s, Hand draws upon a deep well of inspiration and experience, from partying to legendary DJ Larry Levan at New York’s Paradise Garage to kicking it with Detroit techno heavy hitters Underground Resistance. Her deep catalog flits between techno and house, and generally she appears more driven by a response to a mood or atmosphere than by a desire to stick to a strict genre. Perhaps that’s why she hasn’t always been given as much credit as her peers who’ve helped build Detroit’s storied techno scene and sound—though the city has taken corrective measures. Last year Detroit’s city council presented Hand and some other techno legends—the Belleville Three, Jeff Mills, Eddie Fowlkes, and Carl Craig—with the Spirit of Detroit Award, which honors those who have served the city and citizens of Detroit. Hand has most certainly done that.   v

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