Greg Wilson stands apart from a legion of DJs as a man who has an encyclopaedic knowledge and love of many genres as well as an opinion about the music and its roots. Unusually, he takes an interest in the wider world and can write about it too. At Campfire Convention 001.UK he played a blistering Saturday night set of old school mash ups and re-edits, from Steely Dan to Michael Jackson and then was guest speaker on a panel about counter-culture on the Sunday morning.
His blogs have positioned him not only as a thinking DJ but one who is putting his considerable life experience to good use through his articles and historical perspectives on club culture.
Campfire welcomes him to our forum sofa on Tuesday 26th September (20:00) to talk about 'Joining the dots of UK dance culture' - inviting members to ask questions around the lineage and evolution of clubbing in this country. Are dance culture and clubbing one and the same? It's a subject worth discussion.
There are a few useful links to read up on.
It will be interesting to look at the ways dance culture influences wider culture and vice-versa. With early Campfire Convention gatherings, there is a sense that people want to talk rather than (or as well as) dance, which many people have remarked upon.
I was walking around last year at CC001.UK and overhearing so many comments to the effect of “wow, I had so many great conversations last night…”, whereas Big Chill culture was more about the hedonism .. “wow, saw some great bands and DJs last night”.
That's not to say that us baby-boomers all want to be tucked up early with our hot chocolates ready for an early start to a full day of conversations, but it may be worth floating the idea that there is a generation who, for whatever reason, now prefer to chat and work out ways of changing the world rather than to lose it on the dancefloor.
Hedonism is still likely to be the main plank of dance culture but how much room is there for consciousness-raising around the fringes?
Greg's blogs are broad and extensive and have encompassed everything from black culture to psychedelia, comics to Merseyside and his articles on musical decades are worth exploring.
For example his tips on re-edits is useful technical advice for DJs for also makes for interesting reading for those of us who enjoy the art of the re-edit from a listening perspective.
Here is the post we made for Greg's appearance at last summer's first Campfire Convention, a set that has already gone down in the annals of Campfire history as a classic
We're very happy to welcome Greg Wilson, a DJ who I have admired for many years and also had the pleasure of working with at The Big Chill on more than one occasion. In terms of DJs with a wide knowledge of music and a passion for many styles, it's hard to beat Greg and that's the main reason I invited him into the first Campfire slot. Born in Wallasey, Greg is an English DJ and producer associated with both the early 80s electro scene in Manchester and the current disco / re-edit movement. He's also a respected commentator on dance music and popular culture.
There are many highlights to check out online..his marathon northern soul mix 'Soul Food : The Broad Church of Northern Soul' clocks in at 3 hours 21 minutes and has been one of my most played mixes of recent times and can be heard heard on this podcast www.gregwilson.co.uk/2013/11/northern-renaissance/
Greg is also recognised as one of a new breed of DJ who likes to engage in wider culture and political discussion - the world needs to change as we dance, after all. His website features his erudite writing about all kinds of stuff - from comics to black culture, design to film, Merseyside to psychedelia. His interest in counter-culture provided a talking point as we were discussing the Campfire weekend and as a result of that, I'm happy that Greg has agreed to talk on a Sunday panel on protest, counter-culture and the role go satire, which I'm looking forward to.
We also share a passion for the music of David Bowie and a pretty similar playlist of favourites from the early 70s era
Oh, and it's interesting to note that he was the first DJ to mix live on TV... Check this classic clip from The Tube in 1983