A storming return from Joshua Harvey...
'Hallucinated Surf'

The king of clipped bass house hot knifes his way through dancefloor butter quicker than ever. Rave ambassadorship remains ever ready - chords, vocals and breaks taken from a triumvirate of ‘Infiltrate 242’, ‘We Are IE’ and ‘Sweet Harmony’. Nostalgia links arms on the sweeping strings of ‘This Broken House’, and his bread and butter bottom ends are programmed almost invertedly to cause even more trebly, tooth-wobbling panic than before.

In Joshua Harvey’s latest dash into the crowd, the more straightforward the B-line the better (the muddy beast that is ‘Biggest Baddest’). Rattling through mixtape favourites ‘I Know’ and ‘Tear the House Up’ featuring high quality sass from Zebra Katz, hip-house/ghetto bass that had hips tingling on ‘Beeper’ comes with a 2016 upgrade on ‘Dance To My Beat’. The vocal numbers aren’t as toweringly triumphant as say, ‘Better than a BMX’, from last album ‘Pick Me Up...’, but instant energising is a given. Surf’s up dudes.

Post-fidget, his latterly cultivated downtempo sideline flashes back to 2013’s ‘The Art of Disappearing’. The second half of ‘Hallucinating Surf’ is quite a heavy comedown, in as much as Hervé eschews the vaporous and floatable by giving post-dubstep paleness some blocky, gun metal greys, and heavy trip hop downpours blocking out blue skies.

‘Last Lovers Left Alive’ sounds uncannily like Julian Lennon’s ‘Saltwater’ in places (which given the title can’t be a coincidence), and its lack of high, incorporating elements of shoegaze and dwindling rockstars on the brink, is surprisingly alternative, the surfboard crashing off the rocks while its navigator battles aquatic asphyxiation, water blocking ears and creating deafening silences. It’s a flipside that’s plays its part as classic mourning after the night before perfectly well...

... but you’re always gonna go for Harvey’s dancefloor trampolines rather the image of him holding an ice pack to his head.

7/10

Words: Matt Oliver

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