Locussolus Berghain / Telephone EP Review


DJ Harvey is a story teller. From behind the decks he weaves a psychedelic 70s thread through disco, acid and techno, crafting a unique and daring tale. In the studio with his current project Locussolus, he acts as a conductor for the spaced out three piece, allowing all of the trio’s influences and more spill out.

This double A side on Harv’s own International Feel imprint follows fairly rapidly from the remix package of last year’s eponymous debut LP. This may be in short due to recent inspiration found during hours lost on the dance floor of the club that lends its name to the A side.  

On Berghain the group marry the sonic experimentation of the purple bathed 70s to the pounding 80s industrial greyness that is so pivotal to shaping today’s techno capital. With a hum-along bass line that stumbled in thinking that it was 90s garage, the unwaveringly brittle drums that drive it on are an obvious homage to the sounds of today’s (or this morning’s) club music. In uncompromising fashion, all manners of twisted sounds are unfurled during the 10 minute stomp. When an arpeggiated synth isn’t twisting itself into a saw tooth buzz riff a guitar riff melts into an acidic cauldron of low end.  

Much as time means very little throughout 6, 12, 24 or 48 hour stints spent at the Berlin techno institution, the same can be said across Harv’s 6, 12, 24 and probably approaching 48 years of selection. Taking on the Berghain mantra head on Locussolus condense into one jam as much accumulated wisdom/weirdness as an extended stint at the club can pack.

On the flip, Telephone has a freedom and looseness displaced from most of today’s rigid dance music. Individual musician’s ideas flow together to become one cohesive whole. The ease at which elements overlap and swoon to each other is as absorbing as the full bodied chug that drives the track. Unashamedly poppy and with plenty of meat behind it in the low end, it is a full on grinner. Topping things off with triumphant power rock riffage for good measure this is a full on disco beast.  

Those looking to find salvation in the instrumental version will find that without the vocals the unabashed campness is even more apparent. Rather than becoming a heads down groover it turns in on itself, with the richness of each individual element swelling and ducking richly.

The complete contrast between the pair of tracks here marks this as a package that will polarise opinion. Both sides mark opposite ends of the Harvey character. Those with any doubt however should take a trip to see Harvey play, where he will work through the various chapters of his epic sets and bring the disparate threads together. 

Label: International Feel
Relaeased: 9th July 2012

By Ben