Harvey Bassett aka DJ Harvey is one of the last rockstars in electronic music. His free-wheeling, psychedelic style both on and off the decks has won him a cult following in recent years amongst both clubbers and DJ’s alike, but why is the disco don such an essential artist?
Back in the mid-90’s, Harvey was resident at Ministry of Sound. There were the days when their late night sessions ran until 10am and it was here that Harvey developed a penchant for long sets. During the same era, he played as part of the Tonka Sound System crew which threw acid house raves across the south of England and founded a record label (along with Gerry Rooney and Simon Lovejoy) called… er, Black Cock, which specialised in cosmic disco ahead of the curve.
Then in 2002, he took a trip to NYC and found himself stick in the US, unable to leave due to visa issues. Somehow this managed to work in his favour – bashing out edits and mixes, and playing sets across the States… we all want what we can’t have, and the club scene was baying for a slice of Harvey. He set up shop in California, blessing the stagnant West Coast with a ton of legendary parties including the secretive, bi-annual Sarcastic Disco shindigs, where he showcased the best in disco, soul and funk rarities.
Eight years later, on receipt of a green card, he emerged from the US and embarked on a much-anticipated world tour, playing everywhere from Japan’s Rainbow Disco Club to Berlin’s Berghain to his legendary set at the Meredith Music Festival in Melbourne (where in true rock start style, he smashed up the decks).
2011 saw the release of Locussolus on International Feel Recordings – three EP’s worth of rowdy, amorous disco sounds that finely showcased his expertise as a producer, with remixes from Andrew Weatherall, Lindstrom & Prins Thomas, whilst 2014 saw a new album release with his band ‘Wildest Dreams’ on Smalltown Supersound.
It’s fair to say that wherever he is, Harvey plays for the dancers – legendary elongated sets swinging through all shades of disco – cosmic, acid, chuggy, flowery – you name it, Harvey can blend it better than most. If you haven’t experienced it yet, you’re amonst the unlucky few. Catch him all night long where it began at Minsitry of Sound on Saturday July 29.