Constant musical innovation has been the key to Hervé‘s success as a DJ/producer/songwriter. From his collaborations with Fatboy Slim and Armand Van Helden to his seminal productions as The Count (among various aliases) with Sinden to an array of musical exploits running Cheap Thrills Records, London-based Hervé (a.k.a. Joshua Harvey) is always in search of the perfect beat and bassline.
On June 17 he will present his second full-length album, Hallucinated Surf (Skint), a release which finds him exploring a bevy of dance floor styles with guests including Zebra Katz, Meridian Dan and Steve Mason. We asked the prolific house master to tell us about the musical influences that have helped shape his artistic psyche.
1. Aphex Twin – “Heliosphan”
Ambient Selection Volume 1 is probably one of my favorite electronic albums and has always been an influence on me, especially that unique brand of melancholia and nostalgia that some of the album conjures up. This is my favorite track from the album.
2. Brian Eno – “First Light”
The godfather of ambient music. I knew about Eno but really got into him through Harold Budd and their collaborative albums.
3. Snoop Dogg – “Drop It Like It’s Hot” ft. Pharrell Williams
He changed hip-hop with his/their unique style of hip-hop production and he made so many good songs that it’s difficult to choose one main influencer.
“Drop It Like It’s Hot” and “Slave 4 U” are two highlights. (Another person I sampled for The Count & Sinden’s “Beeper.”)
4. Michael Jackson – “Thriller”
Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad are the albums I really liked — after that I lost interest. I listened to these a lot as a kid and sampled ‘Thriller” as an adult.
5. Armand Van Helden / Fatboy Slim / Todd Terry
People often ask why I have many different monikers and it’s mainly these guys to blame. I just thought it was what you did if you made dance music — you made a ton of tracks under a bunch of different names!
6. Boards of Canada – “In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country”
Tapping into a similar area emotionally as Aphex Twin, but musically going somewhere different. My first contact with their music was Music Has The Right To Children and I instantly loved the album — a brilliant combination of woozy dreamlike melodies and slow beats. The video below is not from that album but it’s a personal favorite.
7. Burial – “Archangel”
Burial (much like Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada) came out and was just so different and created a musical paradigm shift. Perfect for rolling through the city after dark in the rain.
8. The Police – “Voices Inside My Head”
When I was about 9 or 10, I had a drum teacher who got me into The Police. Stewart Copeland is a great drummer and Sting wrote some amazing songs. I really like that they had these weird spacey songs on all their albums like “Voices Inside My Head.”
9. The Cocteau Twins / This Mortal Coil
My mum is a big fan and introduced me to their music when I was young. I think they made an impression on me with all the space, emotion and mystery in the songs and production. And they sounded like nothing else.
10. The Beta Band – The Three E.P.’s / Steve Mason
I bought this on CD — if it had been on vinyl I would have worn it out! Another unique band and artist. It was a real highlight when making the album to work with Steve [Mason] again and he really delivered on “Lights And Fears.”