From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Dj Harvey is a DJ from Cambridge, England. His real name is Harvey Bassett. Harvey is today one of the most respected DJs in the world whose appeal across the genres of the music and clubbing community. His DJ talents are in demand throughout England, Europe and the world. He has a solid following in places as far-flung as Singapore and Japan. Harvey is considered influential in bringing over the disco/garage/house sound from America to the UK. His musical career officially began at the age of thirteen when he was enlisted as a drummer for a Cambridge punk band Ersatz, whose other members’ average age was 24. The band formed an indie label, Leisure Sounds, releasing the single Smile in Shadow, which was broadcast on Radio 1’s John Peel Show.
Harvey’s progression into DJing came after a trip to New York where he was inspired by the emerging hip-hop movement. He felt that “cutting up” breaks was an extension of drumming and so purchased his first pair of Technics, brought them home and practised. A graffiti “bomber” and member of the gang which went on to take the name, TDK (Tone Deaf Crew) Harvey's crew gained notoriety as TONKA Hi Fi. It was as the DJ for the crew that he forged his reputation as an eclectic programmer of music, throwing outlandish, sometimes weekend-long, parties in their native Cambridge as well as Brighton, London and on the festival circuit. The Brighton parties continued for five years, from 1988 to 1993, drawing a large and loyal crowd, to The Zap Club, and, after the club closed at 2am, for hours, or even days more, on the beach, at Black Rock.
Having already been in love with hip hop, electro and disco the sound he had emulated after his trip to New York he inevitably alighted on house and garage too, and began playing more parties in London; along such US DJ heavyweights as Francois Kevorkian and Kenny Carpenter all of whom were still relatively unknown and unheard of in this country. Playing bs such as Solaris and Freedom were all after the Harvey sound.
In 1991 Harvey further cemented his reputation with his own night “Moist” at the Gardening Club in London. It was here he brought over some of the greatest New York DJs including Larry Levan, locahis fabled six-hour mix of disco, house, garage and dancefloor friendly rock records, a sound he has carried through to his later residencies, notably the celebrated New Hard Left at the Blue Note.
He has released tracks under various pseudonyms on labels such as Mo’ Wax, Dorado, Ministry Of Sound, Skint and Junior Boys Own. He has produced and remixed tracks for Jamiroquai, Brand New Heavies, Ian Brown, Stereo MCs, Electronic, The Police and Cornershop as befits his eclectic style. He is one half of the duo behind the classic and elusive Black Cock record label, on which he has recreated famous and lost edits of disco records by house music pioneers such as Larry Levan and Ron Hardy.
Harvey's recent move to Los Angeles hasn't dampened his enthusiasm for music. His nine hour sets in Los Angeles warehouses have attracted an asortment of enthusiastic music fans. and he is currently playing DJ gigs around the planet. He has also collaborated with Thomas Bullock (of Rub'N'Tug and A.R.E. Weapons) on the disco rock project Map of Africa, which released an LP in 2007 on Whatever We Want records.