Danny L Harle — Harlecore — Album Review
Dance | Electronic
March always seems like the month in which I will likely review at least one album that feels more out of my comfort zone. I mean, if the fact that I reviewed a classical album last year doesn’t stand as a glaring example of that theory, I don’t know what will.
Nevertheless, Harlecore was recommended to me by a good friend of mine, and carries a subgenre of hard dance that I very rarely venture into. That being said however, this album definitely felt deserving of a review.
Harlecore is the newest album by British music producer and composer Danny L Harle. And while this album served as my introduction to the artist, I later discovered that he had written and produced for many notable artists, which include Charli XCX and Rina Sawayama.
Venturing into this album, however, I wasn’t too sure what to expect, and thus, was unsure as to how I was going to approach such a project from a critical standpoint. Although, I still set a bar for myself, in the hopes that this album will carry tonnes of energy, and a current feel that will ambitiously appeal to a new generation.
And with Harlecore, that sentiment definitely feels true in quite a few aspects of the project. His sense of giving this album a creative aesthetic definitely showed through the many alter-egos that Harle embodies on this project. By dividing his list of tracks into four separate styles, under the alias of either DJ Danny, MC Boing, DJ Mayhem, or DJ Ocean, this ingenious composition gave Harle the creative freedom to pack as much versatility into the album as possible.
Under the guise of MC Boing, we get to hear the most quirky and energetic of the tracks, and the opposite seems to apply to those under DJ Ocean, in which the tracks are as slow-paced and as atmospheric as possible. With DJ Mayhem, we seem to get the more hard-hitting beats, and everything else, that combines fractions of these qualities, are nestled under DJ Danny.
And I felt that ultimately, those tracks that go under DJ Danny were definitely amongst my favourites. By combining together the key ingredients of the other types of tunes on this thing, these tracks definitely gave off the most presence.
In contrast, the DJ Ocean tracks felt a lot more underwhelming that I had initially hoped. While I had my fingers crossed that tracks like “Ocean’s Theme” and “For So Long” would eventually progress into something a bit more dynamic, they instead remained consistently throughout, which not only felt patience-testing, but also didn’t mesh well with the other tracks on Harlecore.
Which leads my to the praise-worthy factor that (for the most part), while there are definitely different aesthetics to be found on Harlecore, it still works well as an entire project; it rarely felt like the tracks were chaotically clashing with one-another, despite their aesthetic differences.
In conclusion, I feel that the most remarkable quality this album has, is its potential to redefine dance music for a new generation. By feeling incredibly current, and almost harnessing some hyper-pop qualities, whilst staying true to conventional dance music in places, Harlecore seems to stand as part of the musical bridge from one generation, to the next.
But for future projects, I want to see Danny L Harle push the boat out even further. It would be very exciting to find out just how far the producer can go with his stylistic innovation.
Favourite Tracks: On A Mountain | Shining Stars | Ti Amo
Least Favourite Track: Ocean’s Theme
Enjoyment: 8/10 | Memorability: 7/10 | Atmosphere: 7/10
Uniqueness: 8/10 | Satisfaction: 7/10 | Narrative: 7/10