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, having originally started out in his hometown of New Brighton. He was a pioneer of mixing in the UK and in 1983 he became the first ‘dance music’ specialist hired for a regular weekly session at Manchester’s now legendary Haçienda 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, electrofunkroots, 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. Before long he was picking up an ever increasing amount of bookings throughout Europe and, subsequently, 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 a vintage Revox B77 reel-to-reel tape machine as part of his DJ set-up). 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 (later Fatboy Slim), then a young aspiring DJ called Quentin, how to scratch (Dec ’83). Greg has written for magazines / webzines including Wax Poetics, Clash, Grand Slam and Discopia.
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. During recent times his remix credits have included Grace Jones, The XX, Groove Armada, Bryan Ferry, Steve Mason, Joan As Police Woman and Simian Mobile Disco, whilst he’s edited tracks by A Guy Called Gerald, Talking Heads, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Electronic, Imagination and Missy Elliot, to name but a few.
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.
Credit To The Edit Volume 2 was released in November 2009. With tour dates throughout the following months in the UK, Europe, Japan, Australia and the US to promote the release.
In April 2010, as part of their Essential Mix 500 special, Radio 1 selected Greg’s Essential Mix as one of 10 classics that spanned the show’s near 17 year history.
Greg’s Blog, ‘Being A DJ’, was launched in June 2010. He describes it as “not a DJ blog as such, but more a blog by someone who happens to be a DJ”. The blog is now well established, with over 250 posts published and close on a million site visits to date, Greg’s observations on various aspects of club culture now an online touchstone for an ever-increasing amount of dance enthusiasts and aficionados.
In August 2010 he co-curated (with Jack Hemingway) the Warehouse and Roller Disco areas at the inaugural Vintage Festival at Goodwood, which proved to be an overwhelming success, being named ‘Best New Festival’ at the UK Festival Awards (Greg also being nominated in the ‘Best Feel Good Act Of The Summer’ category). The following year he and Jack curated the Warehouse and Style Studio areas as Vintage was hosted at London’s Southbank.
Greg is also highly active on SoundCloud, where his mixes, edits and podcasts have picked up almost two and a half million plays since he opened his account in 2009.
Greg has produced a series of documentative podcasts, Time Capsule, Random Influences and Early 80’s Floorfillers, as well as the long-running blog series, Living To Music, where people were encouraged to listen to a monthly album selection in their home environment. This served to influence other related events, Colleen Murphy’s successful Classic Album Sundays audiophile experience included.
2013 marked the 10th anniversary of his DJ return. It was also the year when Greg took his first steps back into record production, via Schooled In The Classics #1, a pairing of groove-based dance tunes put together to play out at his gigs, the initial tracks being first road tested in Chicago and New York before being pressed to vinyl. As curator of the vinyl-only A&R Edits, he’s helped draw attention to up and coming Re-Editors like Henry Greenwood, Sophie Lloyd, Fingerman, Peza and his long-time friend, and remix collaborator, Derek Kaye.
Away from the dancefloor, Greg has given talks on music and DJ culture at numerous events including Afro Modern @ The Tate Gallery in Liverpool, Vintage @ London Southbank, Salon @ Standon Calling & Festival No. 6 and on a panel alongside legendary figures Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder @ ADE in Amsterdam. Greg has also been interviewed for a number of books, TV and film projects focusing on the history of club culture.
In 2014 he unveiled his new multi-media label Super Weird Substance, which will mainly focus on recording and live events.
Greg Wilson BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix