Greg Wilson / Afrika Bambaataa

London / April 2012

Thursday 26th April 2012

Greg Wilson

"Sub-Sonic Live is a key event for me on two fronts.

The first in presenting Reels Of Steel (where I add visuals to the music I play) for the first time in London. So far I've been developing the idea via a series of dates at Manchester's Band On The Wall, and also within the festival environment, at Glastonbury and Bestival last year. This London appearance will be another step in this process, leading up to a planned Reels Of Steel UK tour in 2013, and eventually international dates. It’s a work in progress that will, I hope, become an increasingly important part of what I do.

On top of this, featuring on the same bill as Afrika Bambaataa, exactly 30 years on from the release of his seminal "Planet Rock", which I regard as one of the 20th century's defining recordings, setting the tone for the oncoming electronic dance revolution, whilst helping take Hip Hop global in the early 80s. This was a true hybrid, its impact, influence and inspiration an absolute gamechanger. On a personal level it’s a big one, for I finally get to meet the man who had such a bearing on my own DJ destiny, spinning Electro-Funk in the North of England back in '82, and taking a lot of stick from the black music purists for daring to play something so radically different as "Planet Rock".

So, in a sense, the event represents both the past and the future for me, which is always the equation I’m looking to balance. From old school roots to new horizons, it all connects."

Greg Wilson, April, 2012


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 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, to name but a few. Before long he was picking up an ever increasing amount of bookings throughout Europe and, more recently, worldwide.

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”.

Afrika Bambaataa

Afrika  Bambaataa is one of the three main originators of break-beat deejaying, and is respectfully known as the  "Godfather" of hip hop and the "Father " of the Electro Funk Sound. He is one of the architects of Hip Hop Culture. Through his co-opting of the street gang the Black Spades into the music and culture-oriented Zulu nation, he is responsible for spreading  hip-hop culture throughout the world and is credited for coining the phrase "Hip-Hop". He has consistently made records nationally and internationally.

Due to his early use of drum machines and computer sounds, Bam (as he is affectionately known) was instrumental in changing the way R&B and other forms of black music were recorded. His creation of electrofunk, beginning with his piece "Planet Rock," helped fuel the development of other musical genres such as freestyle or Latin freestyle, Miami bass, house, hip house,  electronic and early techno. He was the  First to use a synthesizer on a Hip Hop record (and ultimately creating the electro funk sound).

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