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About DJ Harvey

The music career of DJ Harvey (Harvey William Bassett) began inconspicuously, as a teenaged drummer in Ersatz, a post-punk band based in his native Cambridge, England. His earliest work can be heard on "Smile in Shadow," a 7" single released by the band in 1980, on his Leisure Sounds label. A trip to New York a few years later fostered his interest in DJ'ing. By the end of the decade, his effortless charisma and eclectic selections, translated through marathon sets as part of the TONKA Hi-Fi sound system, earned envy and admiration from aspiring club DJs. Word spread internationally, which enabled him to play in Japan and on Ibiza, while he also established Moist, an early-'90s venue in London's Covent Garden district that hosted the likes of Larry Levan, François Kevorkian, and Kenny Carpenter, among others. On a more commercial level, he took up a residency at London's Ministry of Sound, mixed the 1996 set Late Night Sessions for the nightclub's label offshoot, and remixed tracks by the Police, the Brand New Heavies, Super_Collider, and Ian Brown.

During the early 2000s, Harvey settled in the U.S., specifically California, in part due to a visa issue. He remained in the States for several years, yet his image swelled through continued DJ work, sought-after re-edits and noncommercial DJ mixes, additional remixes for Electronic, the Avalanches, and LCD Soundsystem, and a profile-raising association with Sarcastic Clothing. Among many other outlets during the 2000s was Map of Africa, a partnership with Thomas Bullock (A.R.E. Weapons, Rub N Tug) that allowed him to indulge in his throwback rock frontman fantasies. Early the following decade, he drove the left-field house act Locussolus, as well as the neo-psychedelic band Wildest Dreams (featuring three members of Orgone), each of which issued an album. All the while, he continued to operate as a revered maverick DJ who projected the unique image of a biker/surfer type with a stylistically broad and free-spirited approach to his trade. Although he eventually abstained from alcohol and other drugs, his oft-circulated quote -- "You can't understand the blues 'til you've had your heart broken, you can't understand my music 'til you've had group sex on ecstasy" -- continued to accurately encapsulate his philosophy. ~ Andy Kellman

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