DJ Harvey is more than just a DJ's DJ. He's a legendary life of the party, both in terms of his hard-livin' antics and his impeccable selections and mixing on the 1200s. But despite the fact that the house and disco champion has run the Black Cock label, been part of god knows how many DJ/producer collaborations, and has played an integral role in scenes from Brighton to NYC to SF to LA, he's never put out a full-length record prior to this month's DJ Harvey Presents Locussolus. On the occasion of its release, we asked the Cambridge, UK-born Harvey Bassett a thing or two about his last 30 years in music.
Where is your locus solus?
It is a very magical place in my head, and also, of course, the name of my new band project.
From where are you typing/reading right now?
From the comfort of my bathing chamber.
What sounds do you hear as you're reading these questions?
The high-pitch ringing that only comes from years and years of too loud everything.
So, Black Cock Records...
The black cock is flaccid, as we speak. It's pretty hard to keep it as hard as it first was, oh, about 15 years ago. The black cock, it seems, was way ahead of its time.
Whose music out there best embodies the Black Cock ethos?
DrDunks' C.O.M.B.i. Edits seem to be keeping the end up, shall we say.
Fantasy label: White Dick. What does the logo look like, and who do you sign first?
A toon-like effigy of Dick Cheney getting sucked off in a bathroom, and its first signing would be someone that would make money for us, of course.
Favorite Balearic island... go!
I think Formentera would be the spot for me these days.
If you were born in Hawaii, what would your name be and what would it mean?
Umi'Umi'Pahuluhulo. It means "bushy beard."
Where's the best house or disco scene that we've never heard of?
My new spot on the mainland... watch this space.
Locussolus, Map of Africa... where do you think you'll find your next literary reference for a music project?
Something between Cormac McCarthy and Kurt Vonnegut.
On that topic, what's the last book you loved?
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, by Nathaniel Philbrick.
Dials, buttons, or faders?
All of the above.
Any tips on beard maintenance that you've gleaned over the years?
Regularly dip, rinse, and repeat your growth in yaks' milk. I keep a couple in the yard—pain in the ass to tend, but your beard will love you for it.
What's the best example you can think of of punk intersecting with DJing?
Myself at The Meredith Festival last year, though I paid for my damages. I think if I were really punk rock, I'd have made them pay double for the entertainment factor.
Favorite drum break/sample of all time?
"Apache" by Incredible Bongo Band. Mickey Mouse Club... Oh, lord, I'll stop now.
Sum up each of the following decades in three words.
Margaret Fucking Thatcher
New Hard Left
U S A
The best surf spot in SoCal is...
It changes everyday, but right in front of my house when it's working is the best for me.
Ever seen a shark out there?
No sharks in my bay, so far.
You're at a party with Ken Collier, Arthur Russell, and Bob Moog. Where do you lead the conversation?
They're all interesting guys. I think we know all about their musical leanings, so it would be nice to learn everything else... history, politics, religion.
DJ Harvey Presents Locussolus is out now on International Feel.