Danny L Harle
One afternoon in 2013, Danny L Harle composed a song to play in his DJ set; a huge fan of 1990s dance tracks such as Haddaway’s What Is Love and Corona’s Rhythm Is A Dancer, he wanted a song of his own to play alongside them. The result was Broken Flowers: both a paean to the past, and the sound of something modern.
For Harle, Pop is the genre which “makes so much sense” in this day and age, more than any other he has worked in. It's been a meandering journey up to this conclusion. His first musical instrument was the slap bass: this set him on a path taking in funk jams, eventually playing on dinner cruises; then getting into experimental jazz; before embarking on a degree in music at Goldsmiths.
This feels very much like PC Music’s time. Ever since Harle and Cook, friends at school, met again at Goldsmiths, and started collaborating on their Dux Content project, they felt they were onto something; they just needed people to understand the sounds they were producing. “We were very conscious that we liked what we were doing.” But the stuff they were into - overly artificial, darkly humorous - “seemed random and stupid. And it’s still alien to a lot of people, but at least now there’s a cultural basis to it that people can understand.”
Harle used to worry that his music and his identity didn’t match up - that people might only dwell on the baleful tone of Broken Flowers, for instance, and not the other ideas within - but senses that his listeners do now. There’s always a push and a pull between something seductive, and something strange.
“I could make something that is completely bonkers, but still give a way in, musically. I could have Nicki Minaj on it, but do something completely unusual. It’s totally possible.” Not for the first time, surely not the last, Harle makes a strange type of sense.