His musical career began as a teen when he was enlisted as a drummer for a Cambridge punk band Ersatz. The band formed an indie label, Leisure Sounds, releasing the single Smile in Shadow, which was broadcast on Radio 1’s John Peel Show.
Harvey’s progression into DJing came after a trip to New York where he was inspired by the emerging hip-hop movement. He felt that “cutting up” breaks was an extension of drumming and so purchased his first pair of Technics, brought them home and practised. A graffiti “bomber” and member of the gang which went on to take the name, TDK (Tone Deaf Crew) Harvey's crew gained notoriety as TONKA Hi Fi. It was as the DJ for the crew that he forged his reputation as an eclectic programmer of music, throwing outlandish, sometimes weekend-long, parties in their native Cambridge as well as Brighton, London and on the festival circuit. The Brighton parties continued for five years, from 1988 to 1993, drawing a large and loyal crowd, to The Zap Club, and, after the club closed at 2am, for hours, or even days more, on the beach, at Black Rock.
Having already been in love with hip hop, electro and disco the sound he had emulated after his trip to New York he inevitably alighted on house and garage too, and began playing more parties in London; along such US DJ heavyweights as Francois Kevorkian and Kenny Carpenter all of whom were still relatively unknown and unheard of in this country[clarification needed]. Playing such as Solaris and Freedom were all after the Harvey sound.
In 1991 Harvey was now a full time DJ Harvey further cementing this reputation with his own weekly night “Moist” at the Gardening Club in London. It was here he brought over some of the greatest New York/U.S DJs including Larry Levan, Harvey became known for his fabled six-hour mix of disco, house, garage and dancefloor friendly rock records, a sound he has carried through to later residencies, notably the celebrated New Hard Left at the Blue Note.
After Moist ended, Harvey played at London's Ministry Of Sound, where he later became resident on both Friday and Saturday. This resulted in the 1998 release of his DJ mix album for MOS label's “Late Night Sessions” He played for this era's superclubs including Cream in Liverpool and Back to Basic's in Leeds, also regularly in Ibiza.
He has released tracks on labels such as Mo' Wax, Dorado, Ministry Of Sound, Skint and Junior Boys Own. He has produced and remixed tracks for Jamiroquai, LCD SoundSystem, Brand New Heavies, Ian Brown, Stereo MCs, Electronic, The Police and Cornershop as befits his eclectic style. He is one half of the duo behind the classic and elusive Black Cock record label, on which he has recreated famous and lost edits of disco records by house music pioneers such as Larry Levan and Ron Hardy.
Harvey was married in Hawaii where he resided and founded a gallery/clubspace thirtyninehotel in Honolulu, Oahu with his wife. He took a hiatus from DJing elsewhere and played at the club exclusively. Later dividing his time between there and L.A where his nine hour DJ sets in Los Angeles for the party harveysarcasticdisco, a collaboration with Sarcastic Clothing, attracted an assortment of enthusiastic music fans.. He has also collaborated with Thomas Bullock (of Rub'N'Tug and A.R.E. Weapons) on the disco rock project Map of Africa
Harvey is experiencing a creative and DJing resurgence since relocating to L.A currently playing DJ gigs around the States with a bi-monthly residency at Santos in New York. In 2012 his status inclined as he played alongside DJ James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem at MOCA, as well as PS1 NY for Kraftwerk and FYF Fest. His new recording moniker is as Locussolus, a project released on International Feel Recordings. He released singles in 2012 which garnered critical acclaim. The tracks feature to vocals of Tara Selleck (niece of actor Tom Selleck), Sam Fox (actress in We Bought A Zoo, directed by Cameron Crowe) and Heidi Lusardi (herself an up and coming DJ).
At the close of 2012 Harvey was named one of the most influential DJ's (in a list of 25) of the year by U.S Rolling Stone Magazine. Subsequently seeing his status rise to being included in the 2013 Coachella Festival line up.
- Bidder, Sean (June 1999). House: the Rough Guide. Rough Guides Ltd. and Francois Kervorkian
- Harvell, Jess (2007-05-31). "Stuck On Repeat: Map Of Africa Polish The Mirrors Above Their Beds". Idolator (Gawker Media). Archived from the original on 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- Smith, Caspar Llewellyn (2007-06-17). "Map of Africa, Map of Africa". The Observer (Guardian Unlimited). Retrieved 2007-08-21.