We’ve had some honest-to-god dance music legends helm FACT mixes in the past – Alexander Robotnick, A Guy Called Gerald and Andrew Weatherall among them. Joining them in the cordoned-off VIP area today is Mr Greg Wilson.
Merseyside-born in Wilson is best known for championing early electro with his nights at Wigan Pier then Manchester’s Legend club – people would travel all over from the North and the Midlands to hear Greg spin, and he quickly earned himself prestigious mix slots on Mike Shaft’s popular Piccadilly Radio show – these mixes would prove profoundly influential on a whole generation of budding dance music DJs and producers, and, as Dave Haslam once remarked, “they were some of the most taped programmes in Manchester radio history”. Our man encountered all kinds of hostility from jazz-funk and soul purists for his advocacy of more angular electronic styles, but he perservered in the face of it, and thank god.
In 1983 Wilson began a residency at The Hacienda, helping establish the night’s reputation as a home for cutting edge club music with killer sets of electro-funk, disco and boogie: these sets not only placed him at the centre of Blighty’s emerging hip-hop culture, they also prepared the ground for the late 80s house and techno sounds that would soon take The Hacienda, and young Britain at large, by storm. To the surprise of many, Wilson withdrew from DJing in 1983, choosing to focus more on production projects like Ruthless Rap Assassins, and curating compilations including the seminal Street Sounds UK Electro album (1984) and Classic Electro Mastercuts (1994).
The last decade thankfully saw Greg make a welcome return to the DJing fray, but the real renaissance began with Tirk’s brilliant Credit To The Edit 12″s and CD compilations, which celebrated the veteran’s unique and deliciously raw reel-to-reel editing technique. Since then he’s since become a fixture of our nightlife once more, DJing all around the world and showing off his chops as re-editor and remixer across various essential vinyl releases. On April 24 he’s appearing at one of Together’s whopping parties in London’s Coronet Theatre, alongside DFA duo Holy Ghost!, In Flagranti and more. For more information and tickets on that night – which also stars Cassius and Kavinsky, among others – click here.
Greg’s FACT mix was a DJ set recorded live at Miami Electric Pickle on March 24, and finds our man in righteously funky, agelessly inspirational form. Enjoy.
1. 6th Borough Project – How can I show you (GW ‘bomb’ re-touch) 2. Duff Disco 002 – Return of the duff 3. 6th Borough Project – Do it to the max 4. Crazy P – Lady T (GW edit) 5. Duff Disco 003 – Do that thang 6. Young Dog Alien – Gotta keep workin’ it (GW mash-up) 7. Stevie Wonder – Superstition (Todd Terje edit) 8. The Bangles – Walk like an egyptian (Todd Terje edit) 9. Killer Funk Disco Allstars – Things you do to me 10. Sgt Lovebody – Skippy’s down the well 11. Aretha Franklin – Rock steady (DK edit) 12. Rufus Feat Chaka Khan – Ain’t nobody (Frankie Knuckles hallucinogenic mix) 13. Blondie – Rapture (6ms edit) 14. Linkwood – Falling 15. Elektrons – Get up (GW special version) 16. Fatback Band – (Are you ready) do the bus stop
01 Fuze, Tiefschwarz – Intro From Our Minds To Yours (Tiefschwarz Remix) [Promo] 02 Luca Bacchetti, Davide Squillace – West Side Story (Original Mix) [Hidout] 03 Clement Meyer, Sei A – Slow Deep And Hard (Sei A Remix) [Seinan Music] 04 Ellen Allien – Lover (Original Mix) [Bpitch] 05 Voodeux, Maetrik, Lil Tony – The Paranormal (Maetrik Remix) [Promo] 06 Function, Ben Clock – Dissaffected (Ben Klock Remix) [Sandwell District] 07 Cio D, Donoto Dozzy – Goldbrokat (Donato Dozzy Techno Remix) [Promo] 08 Pan Pot, Jesper Dahlback, Adam Beyer – Confronted (Adam Beyer,jesper Dahlback Mix) [Mobilee] 09 Timo Maas, Santos (italy), Rockets And Ponies – Chinese Massage (Original Mix) [Promo] 10 Len Faki, Jesper Dahlback, Adam Beyer – Death By House (Adam Beyer/Jesper Dahlback Remix) [Cocoon]
I can’t stop talking about tiki. Not because of the Tiki Barber sex scandal, but because I recently got an exclusive preview of the tiki drinks that Richard Boccato and Giuseppe Gonzalez (Dutch Kills) are going to be making at their supercool new bar Painkiller, which is opening in early May in New York City.
In addition to smooth daiquiris, flights of mini zombie drinks and all-you-can-eat hot dogs (“They’re not going to be fancy, Grade-A or kosher, but they’ll be free,” said Boccato), they’ll be serving fantastic rum-based flaming cocktails like the Cradle of Life (made with spiced rum, white rum, lime and orange juices and almond syrup; the green chartreuse on top is set on fire, pictured). The menu will also include communal drinks served in custom-made ceramic vessels called Scorpion Bowls. Each Scorpion Bowl will be named after a 1970s NYC street gang, like the Electric Coffin, a large coffin-shaped bowl that will billow steam from a hidden chamber for dry ice in its underbelly.
Boccato got the idea for the Scorpion Bowl names while narrating a friend’s documentary about the gangs and he's continuing the urbanized-oasis theme by asking some of NYC’s classic old-school graffiti artists to tag the walls of the bar.
“Half of tiki is about presentation,” said Boccato. “Tiki bars usually look like a dive, a Disney ride or Grandpa’s basement. We’re going for something different.”
You can also read a short NYTimes article about the spot here.
For Basic NYC's 6th anniversary, they're bringing in a super, duper, special guest. Founder of Planet E Communications, one of my favorite record labels, and Grammy nominee, Carl Craig will be headlining this momentous party with a special extended set for his Sullivan Room debut. Purchase your advance tickets here. This is most definitely a party you don't want to miss.
It starts with what sounds like an alien morse code transmission; Earth bound signals bouncing off the side of orbiting space debris. Snatches of voices found out in the ether cut through the machine fog, drifting across burbling analogue equipment lovingly kept working long after supposed sell-by date. By the time the click and thump of snare and bass drum arrive, the sounds are all-encompassing, swirling around you with dizzying, disorientating effect. Noises come untethered by constraints of volume, seemingly leaping from the speakers with a life of their own. For a band used to dealing in psychedelics, this time round The Chemical Brothers have really pushed the proverbial envelope.
The Chemical Brothers release their seventh studio album, "Further", in June 2010. This album is the band's first to be released with corresponding films made specifically to match each of the 8 audio tracks.
1. snow 2. escape velocity 3. another world 4. dissolve 5. horse power 6. swoon 7. k+d+b 8. wonders of the deep
Nearly three years on from the release of their fifth consecutive UK Number 1 "We Are The Night", "Further" sees Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons explore the boundless possibilities of their sound. Taking a trip through four decades of electronic noise, Tom & Ed have taken the template set up with their occasional "Electronic Battle Weapon" releases and allowed them to mutate gloriously into an entire album. Voice samples and snatches of vocals are woven through tracks to create a record that ebbs and flows like one of the band's legendary live sets. Here, West Coast power pop harmonies sit beside German Motorik rhythms while Valentines-esque sonic manipulations plane across the top of early house basslines. "Further" is the culmination of nearly two decades of psychedelic exploration, an immersive collection that finds The Chemical Brothers at their least-restrained and most-melodic best.
As well as an eight-track album, "Further" is the band's first proper partnership with long-time visuals collaborators Adam Smith and Marcus Lyall. Now as respected TV and film director (recently having completed the first episode of the forthcoming series of Doctor Who) Adam - aka Flat Nose George - has been responsible for creating the visual backdrop for every Chemical Brothers gig since their live debut in 1994. Visuals for "Further" have been created to correspond with each track on the album and have been planned during the recording of the record.
The band's four shows running from the 20 - 23rd May at the Roundhouse (which sold out in record time) and gigs at Sonar Festival and selected festivals in Europe will see the band play the album and Smith and Lyall's new films in their entirety. These will only be seen in sequence at those gigs. The Roundhouse shows will be the first chance to hear the album anywhere. After the gigs, the films will feature on a special edition DVD release and on iTunes LP.
The Chemical Brothers will also be headlining day one of Electric Zoo Festival, produced by Made Event. You can purchase your advance early bird tickets here.
Nate Appleman, chef at Keith McNally's new Bowery hotspot Pulino's, got arrested Wednesday afternoon in the East Village. Appleman, who is covered in tattoos but stands barely 5-foot-8, was heading home from the pizza restaurant between shifts when cops spotted a chain running from his belt into a pocket. "It's a pocket knife that's two inches long that I used to cut boxes at work," Appleman told us. "I've collected knives since I was a kid. My mother gives me a knife every year on my birthday. This knife is the one she got me this year." After three police cars surrounded him, Appleman was taken to the 9th Precinct and charged with weapons possession. He was released two hours later and is due in court on April 27. Ironically, some of the tables at Pulino's are made from old police barricades, and waiters wear shirts that say "Do not cross the line."
Greg Wilson is a UK electro pioneer. Here, he talks to Clash about the DJ culture, the birth of mixing and why ’80s deejays needed to just shut up and dance.
“It’s over thirty years since I did my first basic edits. This was for a demonstration tape I made for local radio, which, as was the way back then, would only be listened to if submitted on reel rather than cassette, with the tracks shortened to minimal length (the emphasis placed firmly on how you sounded over the microphone, rather than the music you played). The guy who taught me how to splice tape was a presenter from Radio Merseyside called Dave Porter.
However, it wasn’t until 1982 that I began to explore the possibilities of creative editing. By this point I was a successful DJ playing the latest imports at Wigan Pier and Legend in Manchester. I was also one of the few people in the country to fully embrace turntable mixing and, in May ’82, I was invited by Mike Shaft to create specialist black music mixes for his show on Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio. They were the first mixes of their type in the UK and I became known nationally as an innovator of this style. These early radio mixes were recorded onto reel-to-reel at Legend during the daytime and ‘topped and tailed’ later in one of the station’s editing booths. At first someone else did this for me, but one day there was nobody available so I had a go myself…
This would be the start of my obsession with editing. Pretty soon I’d decided to invest in a home DJ studio, where I’d subsequently record and edit my mixes. I bought a Revox B77 reel-to-reel, along with two Technics SL1200s (extremely rare to see in a club back then, let alone someone’s home), a Matamp Super Nova DJ mixer and a cassette deck (for the occasional pause button sample). When I demonstrated mixing live on Channel 4’s music show, The Tube (February ’83) I also had the Revox on stage with me, using it for dub/echo effects.
What I was doing was pretty unique from a UK perspective. I had nobody to reference, so I devised my own techniques, some of which had been inspired by innovative US bootleg mixes, especially ‘Big Apple Production Vol. 1’, plus some of the Disconet DJ only series. The first ‘Kiss FM Mastermixes’ LP (US Prelude 1982), courtesy of Shep Pettibone, would also make a big impression on me.
Suffice to say that editing has been a major part of my life. Nowadays my work is computer based and I can do things that would once have taken me hours in a matter of minutes - many tape edit effects, previously highly complex and time consuming, are now relatively simple. That’s not to say that the craft has gone out of editing, you still have to come up with the ideas and that’s always the most important thing, no amount of technological expertise can make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. However, the precision and speed of computers undoubtedly makes life much easier, allowing so many more possibilities than I could have imagined during those countless hours sat blade in hand. There are also things that were impossible when I started out, like changing the tempo of a track without changing the pitch. The tools I had at my disposal back then were certainly primitive when compared to what’s available now.
I’m under no illusion that without the movement towards re-editing I could never have returned to deejaying in the way that I have. It was the crucial element of my comeback (in 2003), enabling me to find the balance between past and present following my two decade hiatus. Had I played the same old tunes in the same old way it would simply have been a trip down memory lane, and I doubt my resurgence would have had the legs to go further than the odd booking here and there before I faded back into middle-aged obscurity. Featuring re-edits, both mine and other peoples, I could put a new spin on these older records, whilst the inclusion of more recent productions, often influenced by the type of music I played in the ’70s and early-’80s, added a further contemporary twist. This was, and still is, reflected in the juxtaposition of laptop and reel-to-reel as my primary means of presentation, again fusing past and present to create my own unique proposition.
During the past four years the amount of re-edits has increased drastically. Many DJs now put their own together as a potential stepping stone to wider recognition - by sharing files online, or pressing up copies for the vinyl diehards, a DJ’s association with a particularly popular edit can lead to a notable increase in their club bookings. Whilst some believe that the market has been swamped by the sheer quantity of re-edits in recent years, stifling the amount of original productions that are being made and played, others see it as a shot in the arm for the dance scene, an exciting development that regenerates great music from the past, bringing it into a contemporary setting in a non-nostalgic manner.
Adapted from the sleevenotes for ‘Credit To The Edit’ Volumes One & Two. Copyright Greg Wilson, 2009