Photography: Mads Perch
Though the PC Music member’s roots are deep in electronic and classical music, Danny L Harle is pop music’s biggest fan. In a statement last year, Harle gushed over his fascination for pop and his plans to take it to the next level. “Pop music in itself is super-crazy,” Harle said. “It’s on the brink of insanity. And what I have always been hoping to do is just push it that little bit further, to complete insanity.”
Since last year’s release of his wildly successful EP Broken Flowers, we’ve been hungry for another glimpse of Harle’s pop-music master plan, and last month our dreams came true by way of “Ashes of Love”—Harle’s recent unlikely collaboration with Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek.
If we had to imagine what “complete pop insanity” might look like, the single’s new CGI video, directed by Sam Rolfes, comes close to our prediction. The insanity of Harle’s hyper-polished pop is amplified by glitchy depictions of an artificial Polachek, dancing on a post-apocalyptic stage that also happens to be an ocean. Confused? Maybe that’s the purpose.
To clear up Harle’s consciously artificial and darkly humorous world, we recently chatted with the producer and asked him to make us a playlist of nothing but bangers:
How did you make the transition from classical to electronic music?
I was always doing both, but I never thought about the electronic music as serious output; it was pure experimentation and fun. I thought I was cheating during my masters degree when I used electronics in a piece of chamber music. I was beginning to realize that electronics are the most important instrument in existence right now.
How do you manage to make your electronic music still feel personable?
All I can do is make music that I personally like and hope that others will like it, too. That said, I have always found the idea of machines and electronics producing sounds that people find ‘emotional’ to be an interesting concept.
What was your favorite part of Broken Flowers?
I like the way that ‘Awake For Hours’ reflects the way I feel when I listen to a track like ‘Broken Flowers,’ it’s a kind of Danny Lens®.
What was it like collaborating with Emily Verlander?
Emily is great and has a really cool voice. She is best friends with Raffy, who sings on my track ‘In My Dreams.’ All the vocalists on the EP were fun to work with.
What pop artists are you listening to, right now?
Inna, Scott Brown, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj [and] Carly Rae Jepsen.
What direction are you hoping to take the pop through your music?
I would like to make euphoric pop music created with a spirit of experimentation.