Dance yourself dizzy at Sea Sessions 2013
The Sea Sessions weekend provides plenty for club heads who perhaps wouldn’t often have reason to venture to Bundoran for a night on the tiles
Tea and tunes: Mr Scruff
As any Ibiza regular will tell you, there’s little better than the combination of sunshine, sea air and great beats. Thankfully, the Sea Sessions weekend provides plenty of attractions for club heads who perhaps wouldn’t often have reason to venture to Bundoran for a night on the tiles.
At the top of the bill is Gilles Peterson, one of the most important figures in the multi-cultural make-up of British dance music over the last 30 years. Starting out as a DJ in London in the early 1980s, Peterson was one of the key selectors in the burgeoning acid jazz scene of the day: where jazz became fused with Latin, funk, hip-hop and electronic influences.
As well as appearing regularly on pirate radio, Peterson started the now-legendary Sunday afternoon session at Dingwalls in Camden in north London, where often be-suited dancers flipped out to jazz classics and anything else he felt like playing. His Acid Jazz record label soon followed which allowed him to further promote the scene growing up around him, that included people such as Jamiroquai and the Brand New Heavies.
These days he presents a three-hour Saturday show on BBC6, playing dance music from all over the globe. His passion for what is dubiously termed “world music” runs deep and the radio show allows him to bring artists and traditions together in unexpected ways.
His label focus, Brownswood Recordings, pursues much the same idea, with the last release from Mala seeing the dubstep scion collaborate with musicians in Cuba.
Like all great DJs, Peterson puts the music first. His knowledge is unparalleled and, with 30-odd years of DJing behind him, he knows exactly how to employ it to get the most out of a dancing crowd.
Of similar vintage to Mr Peterson is Greg Wilson, remix king and one of the first regular DJs at Manchester’s infamous Hacienda club. Starting out as a schoolboy in the mid-1970s, Wilson became known for his disco, funk and soul DJing in Merseyside, before pioneering the emergent electro sound in the early 1980s, blurring hip-hop, disco and what would soon become known as techno. This sound bagged him his residency at the Hacienda, as well as the notoriety of being the first person to demonstrate the art of mixing on British television with a short slot on The Tube in 1983: worth watching if just for the sight of a young Jools Holland in leather jacket and sunglasses.
In 1984, just as clubs were really getting going in Britain, Wilson retired from DJing to focus more on production work. After two decades spent MIA, he returned to the decks in 2003 with an enhanced cult reputation and an endless supply of timeless disco, funk and electro records that a new generation was just dying to dance to. Wilson has since been embraced by a new wave of disco lovers and makers, with his mixes and edits setting the standard for contemporary artists such as Metro Area, Todd Terje and Soul Clap. His Essential mix for the BBC in 2009 cemented his place in British dance lore and these days he spends his time travelling around with a big bag of records and his trusty Revox tape machine, keeping the spirit of disco alive and kicking.