The initial thing to comprehend for Greg Wilson’s latest mixtape is the name; so allow us to decipher. Blind Arcade is an emerging Manchester-based act, including former Black Grape man Kermit Leveridge.
Super Weird Substance is Wilson’s new label vehicle. And the Morphogenetic Field is, well, a Morphogenetic Field. There is much dispute about whether such a thing exists, but we’ll leave Wikipedia to debate that one.
The first thing that struck us with this was that it felt sorta Balearic but with an edge to it that was anything but… kinda like Café Mambo Does Hip Hop.
This unlikely combination is stitched together by some special edits from the edit King himself, Greg Wilson, and while it achieves the same highs in momentum that a DJ mix strives for, it's in essence an album that is all about continuation and progression.
Different tempos slot in nicely with each other thanks to some fine segways. One features Howard Marks, the infamous former Cannabis dealer reciting a biblical passage from Genesis at the beginning of ‘Universal Prayer’ which was written by singer/rapper Leveridge.
The full story of Kermit is worthy of its own article – its own book in fact – but beyond our awakening to Balearic Hip Hop, we will always be grateful to this album for giving us the opportunity to remind ourselves of such a colourful figure from the 80s and 90s.
Leveridge was part of the dance crew The Scorpions who became notorious in the much-revered Manchester venue, Legend, where Greg Wilson was resident. Like much of the Manchester public, Leveridge progressed to The Hacienda, and was part of the Broken Glass dance crew; arguably the most famous Hacienda crew of the time.
Via The Ruthless Rap Assassins (still cited as seminal British Hip Hop), stardom and a number one album were to follow with Shaun Ryder and Black Grape.
But so too did heroin-induced madness and a complete meltdown that saw him turn his back on the music business and heroin and retreat to Monmouth in Wales, where he was counting the days until a heart operation that could cure him of septicaemia, a condition that almost killed him, picked up from a dirty needle.
After a seven year wait, he had the operation, and that was the catalyst for Blind Arcade, which draws from much of the poetry Leveridge wrote during his time away from music. The point to all this is that Leveridge's journey basically sums up the album - it's black music with emotional roots in the past.
And that has been crossed with a white man's current interpretation of what gets people moving, which is an exact distillation of what Greg Wilson is all about. Younger readers may assume he's just about disco, but they'd be wrong. He's built on a philosophy, not a genre.
Whether it's his blog, his production, his DJing, and now it would seem, his label, what he tries to do is repackage the edited highlights of the past in order to make an impact in the now, and this album nails that philosophy better than almost anything he's been involved with.
Listen out for The Happy Mondays-esque-Madchester rhythms and a Nightmares On Wax-stoner-on-a-beanbag ambience, and throw in a perfect modern-day mastered polish (courtesy of Wilson's go-to engineer, Derek Kaye), and you've got an absolute blinder.
You can catch Greg DJ at a number of venues over the upcoming months (head here for a full list), including El Diablos Social Club on Friday 18th July (main ticketlink).
Tickets are no longer available for this event