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HarderFaster presents Rachel Harvey

Reported by HarderFaster / Submitted 30-08-06 20:10

One of Australia’s top djs, Rachel Harvey went from being at the top of her game in her home country, to having to work her way from the bottom up on the cut-throat UK dj ladder. But in a very short period of time she’s already played gigs at Colours @ the Fridge, Sundissential and Charlyz Angelz, as well as a few internationals thrown in for good measure. With forthcoming sets at HarderFaster’s own Thirsty Thursdays on Thursday 31 August at Soho’s Freedom Bar and at the next Colours on Saturday 9 September, I decided it was time to meet Rachel for a few drinks and find out about the world of this very versatile artist.

Having djed for ten years, during her six-year residency at Perth’s DC’s club, Rachel supported some of the world’s top jocks including the Prodigy, Carl Cox, John Digweed, Judge Jules, the Sharp Boys, Mrs Wood, Danny Rampling and Boy George. When she wasn’t warming up for these stars she was making a name of herself playing a record number of eight hour sets, where she found she could really showcase her mixing, starting with her favourite dirty electro house, taking it up with some techy and tribal stuff, before finishing up her impeccably mixed hard dance. Is there anything this chick can’t play?!

After taking things as far as she could in Perth, Rachel took the unenviable step of moving to the UK to take her music to the next level. With the gigs now starting to come in and her home studio up and running, it looks like her career can only take off further. I’ll leave it up to Rachel to tell you some more about herself . . .

Have you always loved music or is djing a recent thing? Did it take you long to learn?

I’ve always loved music from when I was a little whippersnapper. It probably took me a few months to learn to mix. I certainly wasn’t as fast as some of the people I’ve taught!

Well that’s the sign of a good teacher! When did you start playing out? Did it come naturally at first or has your djing style changed a lot over the years?

I first started playing out around ten years ago. My first gig was actually in an Italian restaurant and taught me a lot about programming music in order to keep people on the floor. From there I started playing in clubs.

I’d say that my djing came naturally but it has evolved. Sasha has had a big influence on the way my music has changed more than anything. When I first started my friend Mark inspired me because I’d never heard anyone mix like Mark. Then I heard Sasha play, with his big long mixes, and he just inspired me to take my mixing one step further. Hearing Sasha made me take it to the next level technically. I love hearing new things, new sounds, so my djing tends to evolve with that. So what’s fresh and new, I’ll find tracks within a genre I like.

So how would you say your style has changed over the last ten years?

Well the thing with me is I just go with the flow. I’ve found that I do love dance music so I’ve always played more than one style . . . because, for example, when electro came out it sounded so much like the Italian house I love, so I’ve started playing more electro. And I have to confess, I did love disco! It was my favourite music when I was really young and I loved it. I remember having a radio and listening to disco like Donna Summer . . .

Not Gloria Gaynor? She was one of my favourites as a kid!

Oh yes!

What are the highlights of your career so far?

Playing after the Prodigy at a big party in Perth. I’ll never forget that one of the punters said to one of the clubbing bunnies, “Whoever the hell’s going to come on after the Prodigy is going to have to be good” . . . and I rocked it!

Also playing at a big open air club in Turkey. You’d love it! You could dj and see the sea. And obviously playing with Carl Cox! I was sh*tting myself! And meeting Sasha, I finally got to meet my idol!

What would you say your greatest musical influences have been?

In the early days it was disco, high NRG, some of the first Italian house, like Capella’s, ‘You Got To Let The Music’. Now it’s definitely dirty electro house.

Who are your favourite djs?

Sasha, Tony de Vit, the Sharp Boys, Steve Thomas, Nick Sentience and The *Ting*.

Who are your favourite producers?

Sebastian Leger, Micha Moor, the Edison Factor, Olav Basoski, the Sharp Boys and Paul Glazby.

You’ve done a record number of 8 hr sets in your career so far. How many is it? Can you remember your first?

It’s over 700, that much I did work out! But I don’t think I could say it’s 732 and a half! But it’s definitely well over 700, and if I included all the 8–9 hour sets in the first club I ever working in it would be well over a thousand!

You had a 6-year residency at DC’s in Perth. What kind of music did you play there?

Most styles of house. I’d start the night with funky vocally stuff then build it up from there. As the night went on I’d get techy and proggy, then move on to the harder faster kind of stuff for the f*cked bunnies at 5–6 in the morning. So that really was a journey, and it’s why I now can’t just stick to one style. When you’ve done that for so long you can’t just play one kind of music.

Are you planning on doing any production? If so, what sort of music would you like to make?

I’ve got a studio now. It was only when I got here and started teaching I realised I wanted a studio to get to the next level. You know what I’d love to do most? Remixing! I’d like to produce sounds in all styles.

What are your views on the changes in dj technology over the years, such as Ableton Live and Final Scratch?

Although I think the technology can be useful in certain live PA situations, I don’t agree with people using it to do live dj sets as it’s a bit like going to see Ronnie O’Sullivan play snooker with a laser-guided cue. What’s the point?!

If you weren’t a djing, would you like to be doing?

I’d probably be a cop or a psychologist. Definitely a detective! I had to make a decision very early whether to be a cop or go clubbing. Instead I went out, slept til lunchtime and enjoyed life!

What would your dream club night and line-up be?

A Saturday at Fabric with Sasha, Armin van Buurin, Sister Bliss, the Sharp Boys, Timo Mass, The *Ting* and Olav Basoski.

Once upon a time it was a rare thing to be a female dj, yet these days it’s no longer such a novelty. Do you think it’s different for chicks?

Women have to prove themselves more as people tend to think some women only get gigs because of what they look like.

Having such a successful djing career home in Oz it must’ve been hard to out that on hold to start again in the UK, yet already you’ve played Sundissential, Colours, and Charlies Angelz. How are you finding the UK crowds to play to? How do you think your sound had gone down in the UK?

The punters here are great! UK crowds love new sounds, so you can push the boundaries here and experiment with things. I’m really into the dirty electro house sound which is big in the UK so my sets have been going down well.

Do you think the scenes in Oz and the UK are very different? What do you think the two scenes could learn from each other?

People say in the UK that the clubbing bubble has burst. I don’t think it has in Oz. I think part of the problem is the drugs in the UK, now clubbers are into coke and K whereas before it was E. Also world-wide the commercialisation of dance music has taken the novelty out of clubbing for a lot of people.

You’ve played many countries around the world, including Sweden, Ireland, Turkey and France. What’s the craziest gig you’ve played so far? You must’ve been to some wicked parties, do you have a favourite? Or is it a case of what goes on tour stays on tour?

Definitely the fetish scene in London. I played a party called Mostly Harmless and even had my own slave! That’s how I eventually got my gig at Sunnies.

What are your goals for the rest of 2006? And beyond?

To play the UK circuit and abroad and to concentrate on my production and remixing.

What are your favourite tracks at the moment?

‘The Future’ — Eric Entrena and Dei Horno.
‘Mint’ — Endafunk
‘Do Reichst So Gut’ — Patric & Timo

‘Speechless’ — Mish Mash
‘Sexy F**k’ — Who’s Who

Hard dance
‘Awakening’ — Nick Rowland
‘Various’ — Hard Sounds 7
‘Elevated’ — Digital Kid & Elvis

You played at the last Colours at the Fridge and have been asked back for the next party on September 9th. Having played there once already, what can you tell clubbers who’ve never been to Colours before? Why should they come and check it out?

Colours has a great atmosphere. The music is a mix of the latest uplifting hard dance with some great classics and remixes thrown in.

You’re playing at HarderFaster’s regular night Thirsty Thursdays this Thursday. What can we expect from your set?

I’m looking forward to playing some chunky dirty electro house.

What other gigs do you have on the horizon?

Flashbak @ 3rd Base Saturday 23 September
Bliss @ Push, the White House
Blistered @ the Rhythm Factory (London) and the Honey Club (Brighton)
The Adventures of the Purple Monkey @ Babaloo

Many thanks Rachel. Looking forward to seeing you play again at Thirsty Thursdays @ Freedom this Thursday 1 September!

Photos courtesy of Rachel Harvey. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Harderfaster presents Thirsty Thursdays
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On: Thursday 31st August
At: Freedom [map]

From: 19:00 till late
Cost: FREE!! FREE!! FREE!!
Ticket Info: Just turn up and party!
Roll up, roll up for the next instalment of Thirsty Thursdays, 31st August, on from 19:00 till late at Freedom 66 Wardour Street, W1F 0TA.

Fresh from our special guests Spangualtion and Adam White smashing it up for us at the last party, this week we’ll be taking a change in musical direction and playing breaks and house.

Featuring DJs that have surprised and excited us with their music and their attitudes, we think these guys should be out and about more doing their thing and now’s your opportunity to hear them for yourself.

Zcoda first came to our attention via a DJ competition. He then sent us through a few CDs and we were taken back by his skills. You’d be mad to miss this guy warming up for us tonight with his silky blend of breaks.

Matt Dahl (AKA King of Sketch) has been wowing the crowds at parties like Tidy, Zoology, Twisted and Insekt, all while fitting in a burgeoning international career as well. Playing anything from house, to breaks, to trance, he’s well placed to take the party to the next level.

Co-promoter of Fundamental (and cheesy pub DJ to boot), Chris Cee has seen it all. Ibiza, Turnmills, The Southside Bar. Catch him tonight as he warms himself up to take over T3 at Party Proactive this weekend.

Ben Gomori (better known as Benz) will be closing for us this week. Having appeared everywhere including the summer festivals this year, Ben knows exactly what he’s doing and with a promise to us to play big euphoric house (read: not cheesy) we already salivating at the prospect.

Our special guest for the night is one of Australia’s most varied DJs playing a vibrant mix of dirty house, funky electro, rhythmic tech and tribal beats – always infectious and guaranteed to rock the floor.
Rachel Harvey, now permanently relocated here, has been rocking dance floors all over the country and we are very pleased to be bringing her to the Freedom Bar for you aural pleasure.

Happy Hour runs to 9:30 so make sure you arrive early! Free drinks to anyone celebrating their birthday in the 2 weeks before the event - make sure you come and find Matt.

The concept behind Thirsty Thursdays is to include all the music genres that HarderFaster now covers and cater for a wide variety of musical preferences.

We want to give new DJs the chance to gain experience, playing alongside the more experienced HarderFaster DJs, plus we will be inviting some VERY special guests down to grace the decks!

Too Much But Never Enough Maria will be at every Thirsty Thursdays event to satisfy your discount ticket requirements.

Remember we run on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursday of every month at Freedom. This party is run by HarderFaster for its members – if you have any ideas or suggestions, or if you would like to get involved then please contact

Region: London
Music: House. Bouncy House. Deep House. Funky House. Prog House. Tribal House. Vocal House. Breaks.
DJ's: Zcoda
Matt Dahl
Rachel Harvey
Chris Cee
Ben Gomori

Who's Going? (21) : *VaNeSsA*, benz, Chris Cee, DanJ, djdyju, FlirtyMinx, HarderFaster Editorial, Ian Edwards, Janie Mac, keni, King_of_Sketch, Less is Bat, Maria, Matt, purplepodium, Sats, SEBASTIEN, Symbiosis, Thirsty Thursdays, Will in the bush, Wonder Woman 22 

A Free Party for Winners - Colours
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On: Saturday 9th September
At: The Fridge [map]

From: 2200 - 0600
Cost: FREE ENTRY for winners, £12 Adv Tickets, £15 b4 midnight, MOTD after
Ticket Info: For advance tickets please email to
More: Colours

Come and see for yourself, you will not be disappointed. Our unique party atmosphere combining stage performances, impromptu performances, our unique helium balloon treatment special production FX, pryros coupled with the overall production values of the Fridge should not be missed. This is not simply another party at the Fridge, it is Colours!!!

Remember to play our game on the HF banner for FREE entry. When you win you will be given a coded ‘passport’ number that you simply present for free entry to Colours – easy yeah?

This time we are delighted to be able to welcome back Billy “Daniel” Bunter to centre stage to delight us with his fantastic range of tunes after his massively successful past performances at Colours. His extensive tune collection ranges from bouncy, uplifting, hard trance, party to banging Hard House.

As a producer and from the Tasty stable, our Saturday night hard house music is quite unique and can’t be missed.

Once again we are delighted to be able to welcome back Cally Gage to centre stage to delight us with her fantastic range of tunes from bouncy, uplifting, hard trance, party to banging Hard House. From the quality stable of Frantic, Cally definitely should not be missed.

We are delighted to be able to welcome back to centre stage Rachel Harvey fresh from Australia to delight us with her fantastic range of tunes from bouncy, uplifting, hard trance.

As always we are excited about our resident, the *Ting* (Proactive, Torture Garden, Frantic, Ricochet) again gracing the decks of Colours. Like her previous parties at Colours, the *Ting* has been given total freedom to perform and Dj as she sees fit, providing us journey that simply can’t be missed. You will be captivated with her unique mix of music and the shear energy that only the *Ting* can deliver.

And of course, our headlining residents Red and Blue (Twist, Frantic, Hue, Spectrum) and currently holding 7 residencies will be returning with their unique mixing style coupled with their wide spectrum of music that takes you through bouncy, uplifting and classics, but all with their hard driving sound. These guys just have to be seen!

Colours give you a night tailored to take you on a true musical journey that progresses smoothly through the night, not a mishmash of ill sequence DJs that so many other clubs just throw together.

We have purposely decided that we will go with a team of quality DJ’s that are unique in their style and mixing, and who have proven ability in progressing the night smoothly. All working together for that very special musical journey we promise you.

We are striving to provide everybody with a clubbing family, for all to enjoy and be one. Simply, the place to be with your clubbing family.
Colours is about the perfect world that we all want to live in. Equality for all. Peace for all. Colours is a true Polycultural and Polysexual club, a club for all, a club of tolerance, and most importantly, a place to party on that musical journey we promised you.

And on a final note, we are not going to forget the less unfortunate, Colours is supporting the Starlight Children’s Foundation, to support the less fortunate children in our community.

Region: London
Music: Hard Trance. Bouncy House. Hard House.
DJ's: Main Room - The musical Journey

Billy “Daniel” Bunter
Red and Blue
The *Ting*
Cally Gage
Rachel Harvey
+ Special Guests

Stage Performances
Impromptu Performances through the night
Pyrotechnics, and
A real party atmosphere

Who's Going? (8) : Barry Harding, Cally Gage, dj poop da pantz, hUJe John, kethead, KJB414HHA, RedAndBlue, Ualda 

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Other Features By HarderFaster:
HarderFaster Awards 2016 - The results are in!
HarderFaster Awards 2014 - The results are in!
Lashes, Dimples and the Brighton Music Conference
HarderFaster Awards 2013 - The results are in!
HarderFaster Awards 2012 - The results are in!
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.

From: bennett on 30th Aug 2006 21:38.03
I spent ages talking to rachel outside the fridge once! a genuine hardworking DJ!
all the best my dear Smile

From: Digital Kid on 30th Aug 2006 22:28.20
Glad ya digging our track, good luck in the UK!

From: Janie Mac on 31st Aug 2006 07:36.11
NICE WORK CHICKY!! Yay! Rachel Harvey is gonna tear the UK apart. Good luck girly - you really deserve it.

From: Elvis on 31st Aug 2006 09:57.16
Nice interview and glad you like Elevated! Smile

From: dirtyrascal on 31st Aug 2006 14:12.54
Lovely lady! Good luck with everything you do.

From: Mizz_behavin on 31st Aug 2006 18:20.33
Rachel is wicked - we have had fun chatting at the fridge... Hope it goes OK for you Big grin Amanda x

From: Menthol Taz on 1st Sep 2006 10:04.41
Nice one Rachel - a long way from your French Kiss days huh?? Be good to catch up soon hun?? All the best in all u do xx

From: ck on 1st Sep 2006 15:43.25
Heard Rachel last night and was loving her set, was gutted I had to leave early...

From: Minx! on 1st Sep 2006 15:50.25
Woooooot! Heard her play last night and was well impressed with her set, wicked tunes and tight mixing. Nice one Rachel. Claps Hands

From: Macey on 2nd Sep 2006 20:30.59
Nice one!! Good to see the aussies continuing to come over and make an impact Go go goFlamer

From: Dani T on 4th Sep 2006 19:27.07
Go go go Go on Rachel!!! Only had the pleasure to hear your House and Electro demo so far... can't wait to hear you rip it up hard dance stylee!

From: Wolfbag on 7th Sep 2006 05:48.22
Is an eight hours set a good thing? Are 732 eight hour sets a good thing?

From: Toxic on 7th Sep 2006 06:05.28
Although I think the technology can be useful in certain live PA situations, I don’t agree with people using it to do live dj sets as it’s a bit like going to see Ronnie O’Sullivan play snooker with a laser-guided cue. What’s the point?!

--> What a load of bollocks.

From: Wolfbag on 7th Sep 2006 06:46.39
Is an eight hours set a good thing? Are 732 eight hour sets a good thing?

From: RachelH on 18th Sep 2006 10:49.08
Hey Wrong un....don't quite understand your rude comment. I was using the Snooker analogy as a way of saying that what's the point of someone doing their set from a computer,It's so clinical and takes away alot of the skill of mixing. Seeing a DJ with their face in a laptop just doesn't quite do it for me.So just because you don't agree u don't have to be so rude about it. And perhaps rather than just making the rude reply that you did you could perhaps put an explanation as to why u think it's 'BollocKs'.

From: RachelH on 18th Sep 2006 10:57.53
And Wolfbag....8 hour sets are a brilliant thing to do,as you can really take people on a! and '732' eight hour sets was definitely a good thing for me to do as I won 5 awards played with the best DJ's in the world and held a residency for 6 yrs while doing them.So it really doesn't get much better than that.Sadly most DJ's will never get to do an 8 hour set as it's just not the done thing and most DJ's are only willing to happy to play for an hour. I totally respect that and realise it wouldn't be everyones idea of fun to play for that length of time.

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