DJ Harvey The Sound of Mercury Rising Pikes
Expectations are always extremely high with DJ Harvey. Anything less than brilliance results in disappointment, and so it is with this compilation of Balearic tracks he’s curated for Ibiza institution Pikes.
It starts with a new Marcy Rising edit of Next To You, one of Harvey’s tracks released under his Locussolus alias. Stripping the original of its rougher edges, this edit foregrounds the guitar chords and woozier elements, dressing it up to be more yacht-appropriate – and less engaging as a result.
Next comes the highlight of the compilation, Abran Paso by Elkin & Nelson, better-known for the track Jibaro. A jerky piano phrase, ringing guitars and a background of chorus “ah“s make it sound like some kind of Spanish funk hymn, spiritual Balearic in the most authentic sense possible. Spanish Boogie by Van McCoy is another excellent selection, sleazy forgotten disco of the kind Harvey often plays, and there are nice contemporary Balearic songs in the Lovefingers remix and the Gato Frito production. Roberto Rodriguez’s jagged synth anthem, Mustat Varjot, makes a welcome hands-in-the-air appearance before halfway.
But there’s not quite enough here to capture the vibe summoned by Harvey every time he steps up to the decks. I’m Not Scared gets a little tiresome on repeated listen and the DJ Pippi track meanders around a lot of uninspired musical tropes. Those misgivings aside, this is a solid compilation of pretty interesting and esoteric stuff – just not full of the ‘this is why I love club music’ moments you might expect.