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DJ / ArtistsLewis Boardman, Luciano, John Kelly, Paul Bleasdale, Andrew Weatherall, Paul Van Dyk, Justin Robertson, Stuart Patterson, Futurebound, James Barton, Daft Punk, Andy Carroll, Dave Clarke, Darren Emerson, Sasha, Andy Mac, Jazzy Jeff, All Artists
Name: Greg Wilson
Music Style: Electro Funk
Outlar-Listed Events: 21
Outlar Cross-references: Fatboy Slim, Chicken Lips, Kraftwerk, El Diablos, Gareth Cheshire, Tim Scott, Danny Woods, Horse Meat Disco, NickV, Thomas Tuft, Stu Robinson, Toby Tobias, PBR Streetgang, Nina Kraviz
Greg Wilson Intro:
With a DJ pedigree stretching back to the original disco era, Greg Wilson
first came to national prominence in the early 1980's as the first to champion New York's emerging Electro-Funk sound. From day one, his support for this radical new electronic dance music caused deep divisions within the jazz-funk fraternity. To many ears, the new Electro-Funk sound had `no soul'… to some it didn't even qualify as `real music'… Over 20 years on, how is the music viewed today? Greg Wilson
is in no doubt: " Electro-Funk's legacy is huge. It announced the computer age and seduced a generation with its drum machines, synthesizers, sequencers, dub mixes, bonus beats and samples… Its influences lay not only with Kraftwerk, the Human League and Gary Numan, but with Miles Davis, Sly Stone, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Norman Whitfield and George Clinton? "
- Greg Wilson
Electro-Funk is unquestionably the source from which much of today's house, techno, and breakbeat-oriented club music originated. Essential labels releasing Electro-Funk tracks included West End, Prelude, Sugarhill, Emergency, Profile, Tommy Boy, Streetwise and many others. 1982-84
Braving outright hostility from jazz-funk and soul purists, Greg Wilson
's brave new world of electronic funk could be experienced at largely black dance nights, in clubs such as Legend in Manchester, the Wigan Pier, the Stars Bar in Huddersfield, and at numerous all-dayers in places like Preston, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby, Blackpool, Wigan and Sheffield. " I had fantastic support, Legend was always packed to the rafters on a Wednesday and it was the norm for about 450 people to head up to Wigan on a Tuesday from all over the North and Midlands… and double that on a special occasion! "
- Greg Wilson
Electro-Funk heralded the arrival of New York's `Hip Hop' culture in the UK, and Greg was among its earliest and most enthusiastic ambassadors… He cites Malcolm McLaren's `Buffalo Gals' video (1982) as a defining moment for the arrival of Hip Hop in the UK. " For here, before our very eyes, was scratch mixing, graffiti art, and the most amazing sight anyone could remember - a man spinning on his head! The age of the breakdancer had arrived. " Greg Wilson
He recalls showing it one night at the Stars Bar in Huddersfield. The effect on his dancefloor was immediate and devastating: Dancers ground to a complete halt and actually sat down, transfixed, as the enormity of what they were seeing slowly dawned. The video had to be rewound and shown again and again to satisfy the astonished audience. As the buzz grew about Hip Hop in the North, Greg was at its epicentre, not only DJ'ing, but managing and recording with Broken Glass, the best-known UK breakdance crew of the era. Then, in 1983, Greg became the first dance music DJ to become resident at Manchester's Hacienda, then very much an indie and `alternative' music venue. It would be no exaggeration to say that the future of UK Club Culture began here…. Nothing would be quite the same again. As its fame spread, in December 1983 the Hacienda headed south for a series of live dates, showcasing the scratch-mixing talents of Greg Wilson
and the breakdancing of Broken Glass. For many, this was their first `live' experience of Hip Hop, and it was to prove a defining moment. Norman Cook caught the `Hacienda Review' tour in Brighton, and, in an interview with Greg twenty years later, vividly recalled the impact of seeing scratching and breakdancing at close quarters for the first time: " It was a bit of a cultural mission cos Hip Hop culture hadn't really got as far as Brighton... The whole B Boy scene in Brighton started that night. "
- Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim
The future Fatboy Slim
travelled along with `The Hacienda Review' to their next date, and the very next night, during the soundcheck in Hickstead, Greg taught Norman Cook the rudiments of scratching. Piccadilly Radio
Important though Greg's tireless club appearances were, it was his Piccadilly Radio mixes that really cemented his status as a pioneer and dance music legend. Beginning in 1982, these were the first radio mixes in the UK to feature three turntables and a reel-to-reel tape recorder, in true NY Electro-Funk style. There is no doubt whatsoever that the Piccadilly Radio mixes had a profound and direct influence on the dance artists of the future. It was truly groundbreaking stuff… and everyone, it seemed, was listening: " Greg Wilson is the best DJ for me and always will be. "
- Andy Meecham (Chicken Lips
) " These were some of the most taped programmes in Manchester radio history "
- Dave Haslam (Hacienda DJ) What did it all mean?
What made this relatively brief era in dance music history so vital and influential? Greg is clear on this point, too: " The diversity of records released during this period was what made it so magical; you never knew what was coming next. The tempo ranged from under 100 bpm to over 130, covering an entire rhythmic spectrum along the way. "
- Greg Wilson 1982–84
was a time of intense musical creativity, an `anything goes' era, before house and techno standardised both the tempo and rhythm of club music. 1984 – 94
Greg retired from DJ'ing in 1984, but his involvement with music continued. That same year he co-produced the landmark Street Sounds `UK Electro' album. Later in the decade, he returned with the Ruthless Rap Assassins. In 1994, his role as `Electro-Funk Pioneer' was acknowledged when he compiled the best-selling `Classic Electro Mastercuts' album. " Please welcome the Arch-Deacon of SUPERIOR Electro...Mr Greg Wilson! "
- Ian Dewhirst (Mastercuts originator)
The 1990's saw numerous books and articles, which raised awareness of Greg's pivotal role in the history and development of UK club culture. 2003-4
As the importance of Electro-Funk's musical legacy has become increasingly apparent, more attention than ever is being focussed on the crucial 1982-84 period, which apparently shaped so much of what followed. Now, through his website (www.electrofunkroots.co.uk
), Greg is once again acting as an ambassador for Electro-Funk. However, despite a handful of one-off appearances in the 1990's, he has resisted any ideas of a `DJ comeback'… until now! Why the change of heart? The Music Is Better gig in Manchester (December 20th, 2003) was a real turning point for Greg… The feedback from the gig was so overwhelmingly positive, it set the wheels in motion for a renewed assault on clubland: " I feel like part of an emerging new underground movement, which is both retrospective and contemporary at the same time, providing the ideal conditions for me to be able to properly approach deejaying once more, without compromising my beliefs. "
- Greg Wilson
…Taking nothing for granted, Greg Wilson
is once again utilising new music and new technology in unique juxtaposition with the old. In 2004, armed with a laptop, turntables and, of course, his trusty Revox B77 reel-to-reel, Greg's alchemic mixing and customised re-edits takes the whole club DJ experience two steps beyond. WORDS BY SOLID STATE
Past Greg Wilson Events ( 17 Listed )
Monday 27th December 2010 (2 Years Ago) - Circus @ The Masque|
Steve Lawler, Joris Voorn, Simian Mobile Disco - DJ Set, Yousef, Paul Kalkbrenner - Live, Greg Wilson, PBR Streetgang, Dom Chung, Lewis Boardman, Alex Wolfenden, Scott Lewis
Greg Wilson in 2009...
Greg Wilson in 2008...
Greg Wilson in 2007...
Greg Wilson in 2006...
Greg Wilson in 2005...
Sunday 13th February 2005 (8 Years Ago) - SWALK Tsunami Fundraiser @ Bumper|
Sizer Barker, The Joneses, Snap Ant (Invicta Hi Fi), The Cuckolds, A Cult Called Karrianna, Vandal In Berlin, Greg Wilson, Lost Soul Dj's, Plus HIVE Present: Phasic - Live, Zoda - Live, Dj Alextron...
Greg Wilson in 2004...
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