Agency / DJs / Greg Belson
The master of gospel (and funk, and soul!)
Greg Belson began collecting records in 1984, exploring Hiphop culture from beats to samples, rap styles to lyrical flow. A penchant for the vintage soul recordings that were the backbone to these recordings soon started to flourish and shortly with it, a desire to promote gigs. In the early years, he co-promoted shows with ATFC (Defected Records) and DJ Vadim (Ninjatune/BBE), playing many local clubs in and around South London.
In 1994, Greg and Keb Darge joined forces to launch the legendary club session that has become a brand name in ‘Deep Funk’. The original concept was to create a night that covered all areas of funk music over two floors, in a West End London club. In the basement was a brace of DJ’s spearheaded by Keb playing 60’s beats, raw soul, Hammond funk and suchlike, whereas on the first floor, the mood was modern soul, 70’s soulful funk and even P-Funk.
By 1996, Greg had moved into music production, teaming up with Nick Faber to form the ‘Hightower Set’. The Black on Black label released a series of 12’s which gave the duo opportunities to work alongside the likes of Tony Brown (Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry collaborator), Aquasky, DJ Harvey, the Freakniks, Spacer and Meat Katie. Other labels offered remix work too including Scenario, Kingsize, Halflife and Moving Shadow. A number of tracks also made some hot compilations of the day released by labels such as Dope on Plastic, Beechwood, All Seeing Eye and Moving Shadow.
Kingsize Records signed the Faber/Belson production team in 1997under a separate moniker ‘Appleseed’ where the pair recorded with engineer Matthew ‘Bushwacka!’ B. Several tracks from this collaboration were licenced onto compilations, TV spots and brand advertising.
Greg continued DJ’ing throughout the ‘Hightower’ years and held various residencies at nights like ‘Hogwash’ (once rated by Snowboy as ‘one of the best, if not *the* best, funk clubs in the country’) and suchlike. Appearances across the UK followed, with demand for his blend of rare soul & funk coming from Edinburgh to Penzance, from Southampton to South London and Manchester to Plymouth. He also held a 14 year Thursday night residency in his home town of Kingston Upon Thames, a night that really allowed him to focus on building quality sets of music.
In 2006, Greg moved to Los Angeles California to be closer to the source of the music and to tread new boards. Since the move, he’s been responsible for unearthing some fantastic tracks that had previously gone unheard, particularly so in most soul related genres. He’s become known as the authority for vintage Gospel Soul recordings and in 2011, approached Dublab.com with an idea to host a specialist hour-long monthly broadcast dedicated to this phenomenal music. Now into its 6th year of airtime, ‘The Divine Chord Gospel Show’ has gained a global fanbase with dedicated listeners tuning in worldwide.
DJ appearances around the States include the ‘Emerald City Soul Club’ in Seattle, ‘Soul Togetherness’ in Chicago, as well as dates in New York, Detroit and all across California.
In 2014, he embarked on a 46-date European tour taking in nights all over the UK, as well as Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Holland and Italy…. the shows kicked off with an amazing headline set for Block 9’s ‘NYC Downlow’ stage at Glastonbury Festival. The tour was met with critical acclaim from all corners of the industry and has placed Greg in the spotlight as one of the leaders of rare and underplayed soul music. Now it's 2016, and he's just released his critically acclaimed compilation on Cultures of Soul Records, 'Greg Belson's Divine Disco'. With support from the likes of Lauren Laverne naming it 'Compilation of the Week' on her BBC Radio 6 Music show, sales have been amazing for such a left field collection of tunes. To promote the release, Belson embarked on a 60 date tour of Europe, once again treading the boards at Glastonbury Festival, as well as taking in shows in France, Portugal, Spain, Italy & Germany. He’s spreading the word one step at a time, and driving the soulful gospel train of this beautiful, amazing, powerful music.
Some of the DJ’s that have shared the turntables with Mr. Belson:
Cut Chemist, Keb Darge, Kenny Dope, Gilles Peterson, DJ Vadim, Meat Katie, Skeme Richards, Music Man Miles, Boogie Blind, Butch, Horse Meat Disco, DJ Shadow, Snowboy, Jay Strongman, J-Rocc, Dave Thorley, Bill Brewster, Supreme La Rock, David Morales, Bob Jones, Ashley Beadle, Dave Jarvis, Carry Nation, DJ Die, Mr Finewine, Pete 'Jelly Jazz' Isaac, Patrick Forge, Norman Jay, Wrongtom, Howie Pyro.