Danny L Harle: Harlecore review – big, dumb escapist fun

Michael Cragg
·1-min read

With clubs still closed, dance producers are having to get creative. This gonzo 13-track opus from PC Music affiliate Danny L Harle also soundtracks an interactive club experience featuring four distinct “rooms”, covering gabber, hardcore, ambient and makina, a frenetic subgenre of hardcore techno. Each genre comes with a guest producer working under a ludicrous pseudonym (MC Boing, anyone?), plus a handful of equally secretive guest vocalists.

Shorn of the visuals, it makes for a chaotic, occasionally migraine-inducing 40 minutes. Just as you get comfortable with one of the album’s moods, it tilts on its axis again. So the euphoric sugar-rush of techno banger On a Mountain is mischievously corrupted by the pummelling, 180bpm Piano Song, while For So Long – one of two palate-cleansing ambient pieces – barely has time to unfurl before being bulldozed by Shining Stars’ elasticated happy hardcore.

By the time the closing Ti Amo drops its sped-up sample of the Stranglers’ Golden Brown, it’s hard to remember where you are. And maybe that’s the point: Harlecore is big, dumb escapist fun with – as no one says any more – a massive donk on it.