For his first Eddy Says column of 2012, Eddy Temple-Morris is helping out a friend. Longstanding compadre of The Remix on Xfm, Hervé needs a singer to add a cherry to one of his musical cakes. And that singer could be you. Presuming you can sing, which I’m sure you can. CMU readers are notoriously good singers. We should form a choir or something.
It’s always nice to help out a friend of the show, and over the years there has been a mutually beneficial axis of nice-ness between The Remix on Xfm and quite a few labels and individuals. My favourite labels (and this applies to radio shows too) have always been the ones that are an extension of an individual: James Lavelle – Mo Wax, Mark Jones – Wall Of Sound, Damian Harris – Skint, Trevor Jackson – Output, Richard Russell – XL, Dan Fresh and Adam F – Breakbeat Kaos, Brendan Futurebound – Viper are some of the more obvious ones that have enriched my show and our lives.
And there is one more that has to go on that list, a label and founder that have dazzled with both their prolific nature and the excellent quality of their output. The label: Cheap Thrills. The man: Hervé.
The different sides of the man, Joshua Harvey, with his myriad noms-de-plumes (The Count Of Monte Cristal, Machines Don’t Care, etc), is reflected by the crystalline sub division labels: Deep Thrills, Cheaper Thrills. I’m fully expecting him to sign something really tough and start a label called ‘Steep Thrills’, or sign Zomboy and start ‘Bleep Thrills’. Watching the man and the labels develop has been nothing short of a joy over the years, his eclecticism and good taste are the stuff of legend. After you heard Jack Beats’ demo on The Remix, it was he who gave them a home, now look at them…
I always say how much I love it when talent turns out to be nice with it, and Josh Hervé is one of those life-affirming case-in-point characters, like Utah Saints or Brookes Brothers, who makes music so brilliant that it almost gives someone a right to be arsey, so then it’s even more uplifting when they turn out to be the opposite of what you expect to come with the territory. Nice guys certainly do not always come last.
I don’t think any artist has been on the radio with me more than Josh. He helped me out as a special guest when I sat in for John Kennedy. He came in again when I did the same for Mary Anne Hobbs. He DJed at my first Remix All-nighter at Matter. And on The Remix itself, he’s done mixes, co-hosted, the works.
His All Time Top Ten mix – ‘Hervé’s High School Mix Tape’ – was one of my favourites ever. It was around the time Hervé seemed to be at the height of his powers, that wobbly house sound that he and Switch defined was at its zenith and we were all expecting a furore of bass wobbles and seamlessly mixed flat four-four beats. But what Josh did was – and I love him forever for having the balls to do it – to come up with a 1980s style cassette mix compilation like we all used to do, taping stuff off the radio, and just crudely editing it together via the pause button of the cassette deck.
He went against every expectation, and I always admire that in people. So it’s doubly gratifying to return the favour – and here comes the good bit – to help find a collaborator for his new album. Over the years I’ve helped lots of bands do remix competitions, from Simian to Caan, and Air to Electric Six, but this time the competition is to find a singer, pure and simple as that.
Go to www.cheapthrillsrecords.co.uk/herve/ and get involved if you’re a singer, male or female, or if you know a singer, tell them to get stuck in. It is an amazing opportunity for someone to get a really high profile collaboration track on what looks like it’ll be Josh’s best record ever. His new single, ‘Better Than A BMX’ (the video for which you can watch below) strikes a wonderful balance between nightclub and chart pop, and if that’s the shape of things to come, then I’ve no doubt this album will transcend all that has come from Josh in the past, while providing a dream come true for one of you. Once he finds you, and you write and produce the tune together, then you’ll come on the show with Josh – if you want to – and play the tune on Xfm. I cannot wait to hear it, and I’m honoured to be involved.
So happy 2012 to you all, I hope this year brings more good than bad, and I’m already looking forward to ACTUAL new year, in March, after which I’ll be celebrating twelve years on Xfm with an utter legend mentioned earlier in this piece, hopefully co-hosting the show. I can’t say who because I haven’t asked him yet – James, I’m calling you soon with an idea I think you’ll like.