Greg Wilson opens ‘Electrospective: Manchester Pre-Rave ’82-’88’

Seminal north west DJ and producer, Greg Wilson, opens proceedings at the Electrospective event. Held in the artistic hub of Islington Mill in Salford, the event aimed to highlight the creative and cultural importance of Manchester’s dance and music scene during the 80s. Discussions and showcases shone a light on the relatively undocumented period of 1982 to 1988, as new music influences and techniques helped shape a generation of young, mixed audiences; and lay a template for the dj culture/house/rave era which followed.

Greg Wilson opens Electrospective at Islington Mill, Salford

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Greg’s undisguised passion and knowledge of this fertile period of Manchester’s musical history underpinned the event, and he chaired a discussion with four of the major DJs of the time: Hewan Clarke, Colin Curtis, Chad Jackson and Mike Shaft. Their anecdotes, opinions, musical knowledge and sheer enthusiasm gave a fascinating insight into the late 70s and 80s in Manchester. During a few hours genres such as post-punk, jazzfunk, soul, electrofunk, hip hop, electronic disco and proto-house were covered, alongside clubs like the Haçienda, Legends, Rafters, The Gallery, Angels and others.

Two core pillars of B-Boy culture: breaking and graffiti, were also represented by the Broken Glass and Street Machine crews, and Gecko. Unfortunately I had to leave before the breaking and DJing started, but I’d attended the Broken Glass reunion gig in 2004, and expect the floorwork was equally good this time round. Special mention must go to Tim ‘Bones’ Forde, whose documentary ‘The Birth of the British B-Boys’ was shown on rotation at the event. His introduction and tribute to a former crew member added poignacy to the event. You can watch his raw and passionately personal account here on YouTube.

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