Dance music is a hypochondriac. It dies, according to various media, about three times a year. Yet one of 2007’s rhythmic physicians to have shocked it back into circulation is Josh Harvey AKA Herve.
This 28-year-old producer is puzzled at the last 12 months of hype surrounding him and his small clique of successful producers: “Hang on a minute! Three minutes ago it was meant to be dead, and now all of a sudden there’s all this movement everywhere in the underground! I think that if dance music is ‘dead’, then what the fuck is going to happen when it comes back again? It’s crazy.”
Having started playing the drums at the age of nine, buying equipment at 14 and writing, just a few years later with his band Klint, the theme tune to film smash ‘Snatch’, he’s already been through the hype and the hopes of a budding star - thus affording him the luxury not to notice the maelstrom of interest blowing through the dance industry after him.
Part of a tiny scene of like minded lads who all have been producing their own brand of trashed up and low-down dirty dance music for several years, their emphasis is on just having a laugh. Recording solo as Herve and with his peers as Speaker Junk, Young Lovers, Dead Soul Brothers and the Count of Monte Cristal, he’s clearly a busy boy.
With ludicrous basslines, loose hyped-up drums and a massive nod to fun, Herve and co have seen their quiet corner of the dance world suddenly been thrust out in front of the dance community to represent all their peers. “Yeah! It’s like, ‘who IS that pushing us out front?’ It does feel a bit like that. We have just been beavering away quietly but now people have been saying how much we have shaken it up. I am not really aware of it but it’s brilliant if we have.”
There’s such a lack of restrictions in dance music
Dave ‘Dubsided’ Switch, Sinden (see last issue of Clash) and Trevor Loveys are the tough Essex dwelling kernel from which all this collective power is purveyed. Switch, the elder and more established has put out many of their records on his own label, whilst beginning to make a stir is Speaker Junk; yet another offshoot with flat mate Trevor Loveys. However the biggest splash has been the Count of Monte Cristal along with Sinden, brought to the fore by their ubiquitous ‘Beeper’ anthem and just signed to Domino for an album next.
With such label backing Josh and co can move forward with confidence: “There’s such a lack of restrictions in dance music,” he explains. “People used to be so rigid but now you can go out and people respond to things right across the board. We all operate more like a rock and roll band. We are just a group of mates and all we do is go out and play but have that team spirit where we catch and exchange ideas; it’s kinda like a band but in a dance way. We are just a little crew of people that have gelled; we totally hang out. There’s a certain strength in that. We have each other’s back and help each other out; we’ll educate each other where one is weak and in turn get help with other things.”