Cut and paste, snip and shape, the original master of re-edits is back. A pivotal force in the electro-funk underground and soul food for any DJ, Greg Wilson’s pioneering approach proves as masterful now as it was then. Soul-boy funky, to achingly chunky, “Credit To The Edit” reintroduces the boogie to your heart. From the ultimate feel-good disco of Chaka Khan’s “I Feel For You” to the squidgy funk of Raw DMX and Chicken Lips’ “He Not In”, Wilson presents an essential anthology for any record box. Dislocated and recreated, its time to give credit to the edit indeed. Let him show you how it’s done.
HOLLY SHACKLETON, i-D MAGAZINE.
Many of these re-edits by seminal UK DJ Greg Wilson have already been released as EPs, but for the casual listener, this compilation will do a lot to explain why he is so revered. The version of Raw DMX’s “Do It To The Funk” shows up the electro house fly-by-nights, its warm, gurgling bass nestling up to the soulful vocals. Meanwhile, the cut-up, stuttering mix of Chaka Khan’s “I Feel For You” has crisper breaks than a box full of purist electro and Wilson’s dark technoid take on Yello’s “Lost Again” is moodier than a room full of spliff-deprived junglists. Forget Soulwax and the Glimmers, this is the original mash-up merchant.
RICHARD BROPHY, DJ MAGAZINE.
With the current obsession for all things electrofunk-related, it seems rather fitting that one of the genre’s original Djs has been given the chance to showcase his finely-honed re-editing skills. Those who’ve seen Greg Wilson DJing will attest to the potent dancefloor power of his acclaimed edits: almost everything the Liverpudlian plays have been tweaked, edited and faffed around with. This 15 track re-edit retrospective features most of Greg’s best-known edits – his fantastic mash-up of Raw Silk’s “Do It To The Music” and DMX Krew’s “Who Got The Funk?”, that cheeky version of Chicken Lips’ “He Not In” – plus a selection of personal faves not heard since the early 1980s (Uncle Louie anyone?). For anyone interested in electrofunk or the history of the re-edit, it’s essential listening. For everyone else, it’s just a brilliant selection of classic dance music. Go Seek.
MATT ANNISS, I-DJ MAGAZINE.
‘The Edit’ is a gift to the dancefloor faithful from their courting DJ. How to keep that moment going on forever but also to tease people all the way there? Levan, Pettibone, Moulton, Knuckles, Mancuso, Krivit. They discovered portals that time-space continuum. But what of Greg Wilson? Post-punk Manchester was the era in which Greg pioneered manual quick editing and mixing of black rhythms with electronic music, on the radio and in the clubs like Legend and Haçienda, as well as Wigan Pier. So this collection brings chunky, early 80’s, dynamic, extended, supplemented grooves to the masses. So many great moments: check that deep groove mash-up Raw Silk with DMX Krew “Do It To The Funk” (what a vocal!); Salsoul’s eternal acapella “Love Break”; the Baker collage “Sunshine”, the turntable ambition within “Absolute Wood Beez” by Scritti Politti; an irresistible synth bassline amid crisp rhythm and rhapsody on “Do It Anyway You Wanna” (Mike T) and a real organic-meets-electronic builder in “Groovin With Mr Bloe”. Club science.
AP, STRAIGHT NO CHASER.
The first time I clocked Greg Wilson, he was being interviewed by Granada Reports as Manchester breakdance crew, Broken Glass demonstrated windmills to the bemused reporter. Greg had a scouse twang and, if I remember correctly, a long shaggy perm but it was about 1983 and long shaggy perms as well as electro and hip hop were all the rage. Fast forward a quarter of a century and Greg has re-emerged after a very long sojourn to reclaim his rightful place as one of the Godfathers of British dance music.
Back in the day (as they say in ‘da hood’) electro and hip hop were frowned upon by the self-appointed (white) guardians of (black) ‘soul’ music. It wasn’t ‘real’ enough for them see. It was too ‘synthetic’ and therefore DJs like Greg Wilson were derided by the jazz-funk and soul purists who wanted to keep black music back in its musical ghetto, like a museum exhibit to be gawped at and admired from a distance. But electro and hip hop didn’t obey these rules and unexpectedly began to forge new sounds and new sub-cultures totally self-sufficient and unburdened by the rules of the industry. A mix of disco, funk, soul and European electronic music, hip hop paved the way for house, techno, drum ‘n’ bass and all the numerous permutations thereof. Hip hop was infact the jazz of the 80s and 90s, taking elements of other musical genres and twisting them out of shape, moulding fragments together in new and unusual ways.
The re-edit, a DJ innovation from the disco era, was adopted by hip hop DJs who performed these cut ‘n’ paste homages to existing tracks ‘live’ – what was Adventures On The Wheels Of Steel if not an edit? Some DJs and dancers regarded this practice as a sacrilegious form of artistic vandalism, yet DJs were creating mutant offspring using the DNA from donor parent tracks and raising them as their own…er, so to speak. Credit To The Edit pays tribute to the re-edit as an artform, as Greg explores his own history as a professional DJ who began working the funk and disco clubs of New Brighton as a 15 year old in the mid-70s, through the hip hop era when he rocked Wigan Pier and Legends, to the present day as he carves up dancefloors across Europe with his trademark (mostly) 80s boogie and electrofunk edited grooves.
The likes of Erol Alkan and 2 Many DJs have become synonymous for their ‘mash ups’ yet Greg, was employing this practice (using razor blades and tape to tape reels not Ableton programmes) twenty years ago to conjoin different mixes of Rockers Revenge’s Walking On Sunshine and Scritti Politti’s Wood Beez. This isn’t a ‘mixed’ LP simply a collection of 15 re-edited tracks taking in everything from the Chic to Chicken Lips. Some tracks such as Brenda Taylor’s magnificent You Can’t Have Your Cake And Eat It Too are complete overhauls of the original, extending intros and basslines before building up to peaks and then disappearing down synth holes and percussive detours before arriving at the vocals several miles down the line. Others like Kool & The Gang’s Open Sesame and Chic’s Dance Dance Dance are little more than repeated loops that appear to get funkier with every cloned set of bars.
Re-edits force you to re-examine familiar and unfamiliar records alike, confounding your expectations and allowing the DJ and producer to assume creative control over the commercial ‘end product’. This LP is a fitting tribute to one of Britain’s great unsung DJ groundbreakers.
PHIL THORNTON, SWINE EZINE.
One of those legendary DJs who was in the right place, at the right time, Greg Wilson never quite got the recognition he deserved. By breaking the new sounds of the early eighties’ exciting NY clubscene (electro-pop, hip hop, gay disco) in the UK’s northern soul circles, he pioneered the racially mixed spirit of rave culture. Inspiring along the way all those who were to momentary turn The Haçienda into the craziest club in the world. His radio shows revealed his talent for editing (only equipped with yesterday’s scissors and cellotape). A compilation of some of his best reworks finally sees the light of day on Tirk; a real party feast which includes unreleased reshuffles of greats from the likes of Chic, Scritti Politti, Yello, Boys Town Gang, Chaka Khan, Salsoul Orchestra and Rockers Revenge.
JERRY BOUTHIER, NOTION.
Manchester 80s electro-pioneer Greg Wilson has been enjoying a career renaissance since he returned to the decks three years ago and Credit To The Edit is almost certain to take him global, given its quality and the timelessness of many of the gems hidden here. Pioneering cut ups and re-edits in the early 80s via his residencies at the Haçienda and Wigan Pier, Wilson helped lay the foundations of modern DJ culture and Credit To The Edit is a 15 track anthology of some of his finest edits, made available for the first time legally. Standout tracks include his re-edits of Yello’s greatest moment Lost Again and Scritti Politti’s Absolute/ Wood Beez, with Chaka Khan (I Feel For You), Boystown Gang (Cruisin The Streets) and Rockers Revenge (Sunshine) also worthy of special mention.
JONTY SKRUFFF, SKRUFFF E NEWSLETTER.
Greg Wilson was one of those DJs who was truly ahead of his time. In the early 1980s he was one of the first people to play the new robotic sounds of electro to a music hungry group of proto mentalists at Manchester’s Legend & Haçienda nightclubs. This LP rounds up a lot of his seminal remixes and re-edits, some of which were done ‘quite literally mate’ with a razor blade and original 1/4 inch tapes masters. Anyhow Chaka Khan, Raw Dmx, Kool & The Gang & Mike T all get the Gillette hoedown treatment to which include some contemporary gems from Chicken Lips and esteemed others.
WILL MILLS, TOUCH.
Greg Wilson, who along with Hewan Clarke and Colin Curtis, defined the sound of Dance music in the North of England at that almost forgotten though pivotal period stretching between 1979 and 1985. Greg, who has only recently returned to DJ’ing was one of the most important figures of that time and listening to this collection of his re-edits you’ll understand why. To put events in context its worth remembering that at that time there was actually a debate about whether mixing was just an American fad or if it was more important for the DJ to talk between tracks. Greg dispensed with all that and his creative genius plays testament with this history lesson spelt out by the likes of Chaka Khan, Yello, Boystown Gang, Chic and Scritti Politti. For those of you old enough to know better this will serve as a trip down memory lane, and for those young enough this selection of tempos and moods should provide a starting point. It’s not all retro though as self-confessed devotees Chicken Lips also get the treatment on their excellent “He Not In”.
GREG FENTON, M8.
Early-80s Manchester DJ Greg Wilson is like a god to lots of OCD-afflicted old men who take dance music very seriously. Before it became standard practice today, he used to re-edit (or ‘fix’) all manner of soul and discotracks by cats like Chaka Khan, Yello and Scritti Politti using Sellotape and scissors so they’d destroy dancefloors. This happened before ecstasy had been invented, by the way, so imagine how good they sound now.
TEENAGE DIPLOMAT, VICE.
Greg Wilson was a pivotal figure in the development of electronic music in the early 80s, whose return to spinning has seen him acknowledged by the musical community for his early pioneering work. Greg inspired generations of would be music makers and record spinners, with the help of a reel-to-reel tape machine and an ear for how sounds should be cut, spliced and congealed. A sleeping giant for most of the 80s and 90s, Wilson recently awoke from his slumber in order to get behind the decks once more. Staying abreast of technological advancement, Greg has brought in a laptop alongside his trusty tape machine and turntables, and his performances have been received rapturously up and down the country.
The “Credit To The Edit” series highlights a number of his innovative reconstructions from recent times and back in the day, which Wilson likes to slip into his sets alongside hot newbies and time-honoured classics. Raw DMX’s awesome “Do It To The Funk” places the bewitched by music vocals from Raw Silk’s “Do It To The Music” over an irresistible funkulated bass, floating away strings and tender keys from the DMX Krew’s “Who Go The Funk”. Giddy keys, riotous brass and self-absorbed beats work wonders on Wilson’s “Sesame Seed” refix of Kool & The Gang’s “Open Sesame”. “He Not In” from Chicken Lips becomes a little more manic, courtesy of exploding beats, assistance needing vocals and scowling synths. Wilson’s decision to come back to the fore has given him the opportunity to inspire another generation of music-hungry listeners.
JOHN FREER, MOSOUL.CO.UK.
Greg Wilson: a relatively little known DJ/producer whom British music fans can feel proud of. Wonderful stuff from a true innovator; Listening to the first few seconds of Wilson’s Salsoul Orchestra remix is like taking an object lesson in how to assimilate all those punk/funk/discoid references (ESG, A Certain Ratio, Contortions, Chic). Dubby echoes & machine-like sweeps complement those horn riffs in admirable fashion, : this is sweet music with punk attitude.
Greg Wilson Is The Originator And This Record Is The Bomb!
Any DJ worth the name should own this album. A welcome return from a real legend.
One Of The Best Albums In Years, Crafted By The Original Master Of Re-Edits.
NORMAN JAY, M.B.E.
What an outstanding album. Greg was always an inspiration to me. This contains possibly all my favourite tracks of all time.
Greg Wilson is a legend! His re-edits & mixes were essential listening for me in the early 1980s. Listen to this album to see what all the fuss is about!
The Best Dance Music Compilation Of 2005.
© Greg Wilson, 2005