Published Jul 29, 2014Legendary L.A.-via-UK disco enthusiast DJ Harvey (neé Harvey Bassett) has enjoyed a lengthy career pursuing all manner of musical tastes. From teenaged punkdom to an infatuation with hip-hop breaks upon his mid-'80s arrival in New York to spinning from his treasure trove of obscure disco records, Harvey's sensibility has earned him vast respect as a DJ's DJ. With his latest project, Wildest Dreams, he's stepped out of the dance-beat comfort zone and into a more psychedelic band setting, but in true Harvey fashion, it's a thoroughly committed transition — the group pushes the somewhat predictable psych-rock template to exhilarating and infectious ends.
Less the icy-cool grooves of his other recent group effort, Locussolus (alongside We Bought A Zoo actress Sam Fox and Tom Selleck's daughter Tara), Wildest Dreams sees Harvey fly his freak flag by teaming up with three members of California Afrobeat crew Orgone for something that sounds closer to Ennio Morricone's weirdo soundtrack work from the late '60s and early '70s. Harvey's drums (and vocals) power the group — check the Santana-at-Woodstock-style funk of "Yes We Can Can" or the booming classic-rock beats of "Wildest Ride" and "Scorpion Bay" — which provides ample room for guitarist Sergio Rios to stretch out on some blazing solos. Wildest Dreams deftly handle downtempo jams as well, especially on the moody organ feature "Pleasure Swell" (clearly a sonic nod to the Doors' "Riders on the Storm"). All of which makes you wonder — is there anything DJ Harvey can't do? (Smalltown Supersound)