Nowadays, terms like pioneer, tastemaker, game changer are peppered throughout press releases, artist bios and other bits of PR trying to grab your attention like its going out of fashion. This terminology has moved away from the original and correct meaning into something that is now designed to sell. But, what about those artists that deserve to be crowned with the actual meaning of this title?
Greg Wilson is part of a select breed of individuals that have helped steer a sound from being relatively unknown into the realms of the popular. This sound was dubbed as “Electro-Funk.” Through sheer determination and fresh creativity Greg became the first ‘dance music’ DJ hired for a regular weekly session at Manchester’s now legendary Hacienda club. He became instrumental in bringing this New York based scene to the UK and the rest is history. Well not quite… having almost single handily brought the sound to the UK, Greg quit DJing in 1983, and didn’t dust the decks off again (professionally) until 2003, when he realised he has never actually quit being a DJ. (Read the full story here http://www.gregwilson.co.uk/about )
Fast forward ten and a bit years, and Greg is regularly contributing articles onto his website whilst appearing on radio, recording mixes and of course spinning at the finest parties. We are delighted to be able to have Greg playing with us later this month at the 2020Vision showcase, and were lucky enough to catch up with a man who fully deserves his legendary status. Now back in the studio, and working on releasing new material the legacy of Greg Wilson continues to flourish with a new dynamic.
Check out this recent mix from Greg via Meoko
Hi Greg, thanks for taking the time to speak to LWE, what have you been up to?
Setting up Super Weird Substance has taken up the bulk of my time of late. It’s time to start releasing music again, as well as playing it, so it’s great to be back in the studio working with Blind Arcade, who are the label’s flagship project. It’s all very karmic finding myself working with Kermit again a quarter of a century on from when the Ruthless Rap Assassins were making their first album. Funny how things work out. What’s interesting is that, for OG’s, we’re still involved with cutting-edge stuff – no tired, back to the old days type vibe here, just vibrancy and positivity.
I’ve also got a few remixes I’ve done with Derek Kaye, which are picking up lots of support – by Joan as Police Woman, Blancmange, Steve Mason, Situation and Daniele Baldelli. Pretty excited about the mix we’ve just done of a track I used to play back in the early 80’s Jazz-Funk era, ‘Maracatu Atomica’ by Gilberto Gil. This was commissioned by Norman Cook for the Fatboy Slim World Cup compilation, featuring remixes of Brazillian artists by DJ’s / dance producers.
How far would you say your sound has evolved since you first started out?
As a DJ I clearly embraced re-edits culture, for this was what enabled me to successfully balance past and present. I still work from pretty much the same musical premise as I did 10 years ago, I’m just fortunate to have a wider selection of edits and reworks to choose from these days – there’s some really creative people involved in our side of the scene, and their endeavours make my job easier. There’s also some great contemporary stuff that slots in perfectly for me – people are beginning to find their sound, so it’s exciting times ahead.
What has been one of the best memories for you behind the decks?
I always go back to Legend in Manchester, circa 82/83, for this was my DJ heaven – every Wednesday was a night to remember. It was the intensity – the new futuristic Funk coming out of New York eagerly lapped by an audience who really knew their shit, and in an environment ideally suited to this. It was tomorrow here today, and that’s an incredible moment to be in, especially when you can experience it every week – we knew we were right at the cusp of things.
If you could have one superpower for 24 hours, what would it be?
The power to make time stand still. The curse of my life is that there are never enough hours in the day.
If we were to walk into your studio what would we see?
My own personal shadow gallery – a place where all my things are around me, and where, for me at least, there’s method in the mess.
Any forthcoming projects you can shout about?
Next up is the new Schooled In The Classics 12″, which unleashes the Sisters Reynolds (and these girls really do have superpowers). Then it’s the Blind Arcade Meets Super Weird Substance In The Morphogenetic Field mixtape.
And finally where and what are we most likely to find you doing this summer?
I’m doing a lot of festivals, even more than usual, including some European ones, so that’s pretty much filled up the summer months. I’m also going to be recording whenever possible, regularly getting stuff out on the label.
2020Vision: Day and Night
Sunday 25th May: 3pm to 6am
Ralph Lawson (Day and Night sets)
£15 to £30 + bf
1st release / 2nd release / 3rd release – SOLD OUT
4th release selling fast.
£15 night only tickets will sell out soon.
In association with Mixcloud //