- Few clubs burn as brightly, and for as extended a smolder, as the one occupying that iconic, hulking building in the fringes of Friedrichshain. Berghain's impact on house, techno, dubstep, sexuality, door policy, tinnitus, etc., is a tough one to quantify with even our most boisterous synonyms for huge. But as much as the club has influenced underground dance music and all that goes with it, a night (or, more accurately, the better part of a weekend) spent in its cold, dark embrace leaves an individual as profoundly altered as any musical experience.
So while there's something admittedly confusing about DJ Harvey naming his latest Locussolus track after the club—he's likely one of the last people to pop into your brain upon hearing mention of it, despite his recent gig there. Nonetheless, it's an exciting proposal: a man possessing multiple lifetimes of dance music knowledge working up from the ultimate acute dance music experience should at the very least yield an interesting result, if not a particularly insightful one. And that's just what we get. "Berghain" doesn't really sound like the room itself—no gut-punching kick, no eardrum-scratching highs, no breakneck tempos—but it sure feels like the headspace it puts you in. Its arpeggiating synths, crispy cymbals and sinister bass stabs swirl in a nervy downward spiral that never quite resolves. It's techno, sure, but Harvey's big grin still shines through, albeit through broken glass and clouds of cigarette smoke.
"Telephone," the flipside antidote for all those sketchy vibes, finds Harvey in his comfort zone, with shimmery female vocals tiptoeing over sparkly modern disco beats. But as appealing as such straightforward stuff may be, you're likely to find yourself returning to the release's meatier inclusion, trading notes or otherwise reveling in its weirdness.