Greg began DJing in 1975 and is regarded as one of the most important figures on the UK dance scene. He enjoyed hugely popular residencies in the early eighties at Wigan Pier and Manchester’s majorly influential Legend. He was a pioneer of mixing in the UK and in 1983 he became the first ‘dance music’ DJ hired for a regular weekly session at Manchester’s now legendary Hacienda club. Greg was instrumental in breaking the new electronic, post-disco records coming out of New York, a sound he has dubbed ‘Electro-Funk’.
In 2003 he set up his own website (www.electrofunkroots.co.uk) to document this crucial era in the evolution of dance culture and, having retired from DJ work at the end of 1983, Greg returned to spinning tunes two decades later, receiving plaudits for his red-hot appearances at renowned nights including Electric Chair, Horse Meat Disco, Fabric, Back To Basics, Ministry Of Sound, Asylum, Melting Pot and the Sub Club, to name but a few. Before long he was picking up an ever increasing amount of bookings throughout Europe and, more recently, worldwide.
In 2005 Tirk Records released ‘Credit to the Edit’, a compilation of re-edits spanning Greg’s entire career, some even original tape edits from way back when (Greg still uses his trusty old Revox B77 reel-to-reel tape machine when DJing out). This wasn’t his first compilation either, having collaborated on most of the tracks to appear on the Street Sounds ‘UK Electro’ LP in 1984, as well as being the selector behind the ‘Classic Electro Mastercuts’ LP in 1994.
Other firsts for Greg include being the first DJ to mix live on British TV (The Tube in 1983), putting together the first UK radio mixes of their type for Piccadilly 261 in Manchester (beginning 1982) and showing a certain Norman Cook, then a young aspiring DJ called Quentin, how to scratch (Dec ’83). Greg has written for magazines / webzines like Wax Poetics, Clash, Grand Slam and Discopia, and presented a monthly online radio series, ‘Time Capsule’, on Samurai FM.
2008 saw Greg go truly global, embarking on an end of year tour that literally took him right around the world, with dates in Japan, Australia and Brazil, following-on from a series of gigs in the US (a return to New York and his San Francisco and LA debuts). Now a firm favourite on the festival circuit in both the UK and Europe, he also played Ibiza for the first time in the summer of 08, including a terrace appearance at the famous We Love Sundays session at Space.
Nominated by DJ magazine for outstanding contribution, and also named amongst their top twenty remixers of all-time, Greg’s edits and mixes continue to feature on the playlists of DJ’s in every continent.
In January 2009 Greg’s reputation was further enhanced when his Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 became something of an instant classic, receiving almost universal acclaim and, in the process, providing the perfect way to commemorate the 5th anniversary of a remarkable renaissance.
‘Greg Wilson is the Originator’
UNABOMBERS / ELECTRIC CHAIR
‘The Electro Grandaddy!’
‘A genuine old skool innovator from back in the day’
NORMAN JAY MBE
‘Greg is a cornerstone of UK dance music’
TOM FINDLAY / GROOVE ARMADA
‘The Arch-Deacon Of Superior Electro’
IAN DEWHIRST / MASTERCUTS
‘He’d be mixing, I mean to me it sounded like his own versions of the tunes – that also inspired me’
A GUY CALLED GERALD
(REMEMBERING GW AT LEGEND IN MANCHESTER – CIRCA 82/83)
‘A lot of records in my collection were a direct result of listening to you playing…We were always trying to get away from the indie tag and wanted to be played in clubs like Legends by DJ’s like yourself’
MARTIN MOSCROP OF A CERTAIN RATIO & SWAMP CHILDREN
“At the time Legend was the closest thing to New York…I loved Greg Wilson as a DJ”
MIKE PICKERING / HACIENDA
‘One of the greatest DJ’s the city has ever known’
CITY LIFE / MANCHESTER
‘The whole b boy scene in Brighton started that night when you lot came down…when you taught me to scratch it was like a 5 minute ‘look, that’s how you do it’ and I did a few cack-handed attempts. Then I went home and spent about the next month just working out how to do it’
(IN CONVERSATION WITH GW, DISCUSSING THEIR MEETING IN 1983)
Electro was a real phenomenon in the UK…Some DJ’s, like Wilson at Legend in Manchester, or future hip hop supreme Tim Westwood at Spats in London switched wholesale to this new sound; many others adopted it as part of their musical menu. By breaking with the past and welcoming the future, it was these renegades of funk who laid the groundwork for both acid house and the UK hip hop scene.
BILL BREWSTER / FRANK BROUGHTON
(FROM THE CENTENARY EDITION OF THEIR BOOK ‘LAST NIGHT A DJ SAVED MY LIFE’ – 2006)
‘Greg Wilson played a huge part in bringing about the 80’s northern house explosion, so show some flippin’ respec’’
‘One of the North-Wests top DJ’s – you were superb, I’m sure you still are… happy memories of those great All-Dayers in Manchester at The Ritz and Tiffanys in the ‘80’s’
(SEMINAL NORTHERN SOUL DJ CASTS HIS MIND BACK TWO DECADES)
‘Greg was truly inspirational for me. It was so great to hear a musical journey and learn so much about the history of mixing. Every track was a winner and so many I had never heard before’
RALPH LAWSON / BACK TO BASICS (FOLLOWING GW’S ‘COMEBACK’ APPEARANCE IN DECEMBER 2003)
‘Greg Wilson is the best DJ for me and always will be’
ANDY MEECHAM OF CHICKEN LIPS
EMAIL: [email protected]
YOU TUBE: www.youtube.com/user/electrofunkrootsuk
BOOKINGS: [email protected]