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Herve Ghetto Bass 2 Review

Compilation. Released 2010.  

BBC Review

A jacking journey through the record box of a modern muse.

Matthew Bennett 2010

Musical Marmite: Ghetto Bass 2 is either going to make you want to dance as if you're being electrocuted by the particularly sexy people of the world, or make you feel old and very sad about the state of modern music.

Joshua Harvey, one of the recent leading lights of British club culture, keeps himself busy with recordings under various monikers beyond his Hervé guise: Count of Monte Cristal, Voodoo Chilli, Action Man, Dead Soul Brothers, Speaker Junk and Young Lovers.

Here Harvey hammers 34 current club bangers into a double mix album that serves to highlight the frantic pace and attention deficient disorder of contemporary dancefloors. Pitched as “ghetto bass, house, electro, nu-jungle, future garage & dubstep”, it's an overly modern snapshot of the raved up take on house music characterised by a delirium of chopped up vocals, insane 16-bar snare rolls and fat bass drops designed to cause maximum rowdiness in confined spaces.

The first CD witnesses more remixes, more collaborations and generally more material from Hervé, but amongst his wares we see UK funky starlet L-Vis 1990 bring some metallic dubstep via his United Groove, Hot City brings a tasty garage vibe with Hot City Bass and the effervescent Fake Blood drops a chart-bothering house anthem with I Think I Like It.

The second disc allows the tracks to breathe more, with fewer edits. Four Tet and Joy Orbison see recent cuts deployed effectively as the mix moves towards a halcyon finale where High Rankin's Apocolypse How peaks in its penultimate position, all old-skool breakbeats and narcotically adjusted piano. It’s a fitting swan song that's sung as an appropriate ode to the rave-indebted journey to that point.

Dance music is by name and nature utilitarian. It requires a certain dumbness to work on the drunken, heaving masses and in the cold light of day this compilation may irritate through its relentless tone. But spin any of these songs through loud soundsystems to a crowd of hedonistic humans and the results will deafen any critical analysis wrought by day. Press play only after dark for a jacking journey through the record box of a modern muse.

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