If you are part of the UK Funk scene, you have heard of this man. Greg Boraman has been around. Hammonds (if that is a word) for The Fantastics, collaborator of Craig Charles, label manager for Freestyle, the list goes on. Apparently, though, he has not often been asked to shed some light onto the DJ part of his life. Therefore, with pride, we present a few insights as part of Our series “DJs You Should Know“. Listen to one of his rare online mixes below and step into his DJ booth.
Which style / genre do you mostly play:
Jazz of most kinds, soul, funk, latin, afrobeat, a little original ska, reggae, disco, old school Rhythm & Blues.
Residency (current or previous):
No Room For Squares! Spiritland, All Things Jazz (The Hanway Social Club)
In the past,
The Jazz Cafe, The Blue Note, Hoxton Square
The Jazz Meet (Floripa – Old Street)
The Saint Paul Soul Jazz Festival, Southern France
DJ gig farthest away from your home:
New York City
Most memorable DJ gig and why?
I went to New York on an A&R trip for Freestyle Records in 2011 with only a small box of 45’s with me, played a few times including a place in Williamsburg that for reasons I’m about to disclose, I can’t remember the name of, but the session kicked off right from the very start – and towards the end when I dropped The Apples instrumental funk & scratch of Killing (In the Name of) the entire club was jumping up and down singing ‘F*ck You – I wont do what you tell me!’.. I got properly mobbed afterwards, and the punters bought me about 20 drinks.. which doesn’t happen too often, and is also the reason I cannot remember where I was spinning!
Since when have you been a DJ?
Being pretty damn old now, the very first time I DJ’d was at a jazz & latin themed club called The Limbo Line, in an upstairs place somewhere on the Marylebone Road, and that must have been early 1987. I was not very good!
What was your first ever record?
Jimmy McGriff – I Got A Woman EP, when I was about 15, Not only did that get me into that hot R&B/soul-jazz sound – it also inspired me to take up playing the Hammond Organ, and that was my other route into the music business, working for labels, A&R-ing etc.
Favourite record of all times and why:
Also another 45 by Jimmy McGriff – The Worm – the cowbell and drums intro has been sampled countless times in hip hop over the decades and no matter what crowd Im playing to, that heavy, dirty proto-funk rhythm always gets even the squarest of squares up!
Record you usually play at all your DJ gigs:
For early doors and to check the sound system ‘This Girl’ by Cookin’ On 3 Burners – we released the original in 2009 on Freestyle Records, it became a bit of a cult classic at Caister and various clubs, and copies of the 45 changed hands for quite a lot of money for a new record – and 6 years later got remixed by DJ Kungs and that went to Number 1 in 7 countries, and when I spin the original 45 people always come over and say “I think I know this..where have I heard it before?’ and I say.. ‘probably on a Peugeot TV commercial!’ as the Kungs remix got used on worldwide TV ads – and has had to date 450 million streams..
Vinyl or other media:
Vinyl 99.9% of the time…
Favourite club to play at:
The sessions I got the most out of was actually warming up the Jazz Cafe crowds in support of some complete legends like Roy Ayers, Betty Lavette, Shuggie Otis, Brian Auger and Carleen Anderson.
Your favourite DJ’s:
Norman Jay, Gilles Peterson, Paul Murphy, Patrick Forge.
Band / Musician you strongly recommend everyone should listen to:
Brian Auger.. A man who mixed up musical genres way back in the mid 60’s with absolute disregard for what the music critics had to say about it.. Even people like Herbie Hancock credit him with being a jazz fusion protagonist years before anyone else dared to go there!
Also – Ginger Johnson & His African Messengers – I re-issued his ultra rare 1967 ‘African Party’ album on Freestyle in 2015 – this man was a young Fela Kuti’s mentor, he played with everyone from Ronnie Scott to the Rolling Stones, did music for films including Bond films – he was the god father of Afrobeat – but remains largely unknown.