LV & Joshua Idehen – Northern Line review

LV/Joshua Idehen - Northern Line
Artist
LV/Joshua Idehen
Title
Northern Line
Label
Keysound
Format
Digital
Buy digital

When their album bowled out on Keysound earlier in the year, LV displayed the rich tapestry of moods and styles they’re capable of tackling, dousing their funk with glossy synth flourishes and consistently unconventional edits and tweaks. However, for all the subtle moods and contemplative moments they conjured up with poet–turned-vocalist Joshua Idehen, there were two tracks destined to get the masses grinning and raving. Sure enough, they’ve committed those two tracks to a single package.

“Northern Line” is inarguably jovial when it first hits, as Idehen’s tongue-in-cheek tribute to a section of the London Underground reels off all those memorable stops such as High Barnet, Edgware and, erm, Moorgate (“I don’t know anything about Moorgate!” he proclaims incredulously). It’s a track that could almost be written off as pure novelty, were the production behind it not so sharp and addictive. The bouncy rhythm employs a sumptuous range of duelling percussion, while the synth stabs through the mix to keep things skipping forwards. The toms take on an almost musical tone as they ripple and tumble behind Idehen’s chant-along hook, “get on the Northern Line!” If this track doesn’t explode into everyone’s sets it’ll be a miracle.

On the flip, a track that garnered merely two minutes airtime on the album gets fleshed out into a fully formed party monster. “Primary Colours” is somewhat divisive, as the original synth takes a stabbing rave hook so familiar it could almost be tiresome. In stretching the track out, the hook gets bolstered by yet more familiar signifiers; a rolling hardcore break and plenty of classic “yeah, whoop!” samples. It’s not as unusual as LV are normally celebrated for, but the saving grace is the seductive sub swells that ride under the mix, grounding the kitsch nature of the surface elements. It’s no bad thing to see LV showing their unabashed knack for making fun tracks, and one suspects there’s no danger of them eschewing their more adventurous tendencies permanently.

Oli Warwick


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