Sunday, 25 January 2009

Review - Hervé - Ghetto Bass

Hervé - Ghetto Bass

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7 out of 10

DJ and producer Joshua Harvey has a lot of names - he's The Count Of Monte Cristal ('The Count' half of The Count & Sinden), Action Man, Young Lovers, and Herve, as he is here; as well as being part of Machine's Don't Care with Sinden, Toddla T and others. These multiple identities have allowed him to be popular (knocking on the door of club stardom with TC&S single 'Beeper', and euphoric indie-disco with Kissy Sellout) and cheesy (check his raved-up versions of Metallica and Michael Jackson), and stay connected to the underground (with his label, Cheap Thrills).

This mix covers both sides of Harvey's repertoire, almost neatly divided by the two discs. Disc one is populist, rowdy, not subtle and occasionally clichéd. There are plenty of heavy indie-dance and funky house synths and 4/4 beats from Justice, Mr Oizio, Kissy Sellout, SebAstian and remixes of Bloc Party and The Chemical Brothers - as well as tracks and remixes from Herve, The Count & Sinden (weird, bass-and-fuzz-heavy house), Action Man (funky and hyperactive), and MDC (the dance equivalent of a jam band; playing the music they love - 90s hardcore, trance and rave). But this is music for dancing not pondering over.

Disc one is also used by Herve to show off his mates' stuff, which is going to be released on Cheap Thrills later this year: Jack Beats futuristic wobble-rave, Rico Tubbs tropical house and Fake Blood's multicoloured 90s throwbacks. There's little of the bassline, drum & bass or dubstep advertised on the cover - that's on disc two, which is harder to dance too but probably more interesting. It's more nuanced and spacious (the sounds of public transport fill in the gaps nicely), and there's loads of womp.

Dubstep is represented by dons of the scene. Skream has a lightness of touch on 'One For The Heads.' that shows dubstep isn't all murk and bass (although 'Filth' is one of his darker, less melodic tracks); Caspa's drum & bass remix of TC is relentless; and Benga's 'Crunked Up' is as perfect an introduction to the music as you'll get in two-and-a-half minutes. There's also Harvey's take, as the scratchy, soulful Young Lovers and more Count & Sinden. There's rowdiness too, on the nasty remix of multinational hip-hop group Foreign Beggars - smeared with distorted electro barbs - and a crunching, techno re-work of Lisbon's Buraka Som Systema's riotous 'kuduro'.

Fittingly for such a personalised set, it ends with Harvey collaborating with himself as The Count & Herve on 'Jungle Steppers' - or, all the sounds listed above thrillingly going off at once.


Disc One:
1. Jack Beats - Get Down
2. Rico Tubbs - Hip Rave Anthem
3. Justice - Let There Be Light (DJ Funk remix)/The Count Of Monte Cristal - Bounce Beat
4. Nasa - Money (featuring David Byrne, Chuck D, Seu Jorge, Ras Congo & Z-Trip) (The Count remix)
5. Project Bassline - Drop The Pressure (The Count's Conquistador remix)
6. Fake Blood - Mars (Herve remix)
7. Mr Oizo - Gay Dentist
8. His Majesty Andre - Peep Thong
9. Bloc Party - Mercury (Herve Is In Disarray remix)
10. Machines Don't Care - Drop It To The Floor
11. Human Resource - Dominator (Herve remix)
12. Jack Beats - What (Dub) (featuring Dynamite MC)
13. Machine's Don't Care - Junk
14. The Kills - Cheap And Cheerful (SebAstian remix)
15. Machine's Don't Care - Beat Bang (Action Man remix)
16. Action Man - Alarm Bell
17. Kidda - Under The Sun (Herve's Ain't No Sunshine remix)
18. The Chemical Brothers - Salmon Dance (Herve remix)
19. Herve & Kissy Sellout - Rikkalicious

Disc Two:
1. Young Lovers - Shake Off The Ghosts
2. Skream - One For The Heads Who Remember
3. Zomby - Rumours And Revolutions
4. Darqwan - Said The Spider
5. Skream - Filth
6. Jokers Of The Scene - Baggy Bottom Boys (DZ remix)
7. Foreign Beggars vs Rogue A Levres - Hit That Gash (Itchy Naan remix)
8. The Count & Sinden - Stinging Nettle
9. Benga - Crunked Up
10. Chase & Status - Eastern Jam
11. Buraka Som Systema - Kalemba (Reso's Aguardente remix)
12. The Count & Sinden - Hardcore Girls (Project Bassline remix)
13. Piddy Py - Giggle Riddim
14. TC - Where's My Money? (Caspa remix/Jack Beats re-edit)
15. Project Bassline - Drop The Pressure
16. The Count Of Monte Cristal & Herve - Jungle Steppers

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