“My whole life has been punctuated by different periods of music, usually for entirely different reasons. Every time I pick up a record, there’s some sort of story behind it or a memory of what I was doing when I bought it. Even now, when I listen to music in the car, for example, a tune will come on that will suddenly transport me to a particular night decades ago. In the case of punk rock and acid house, it completely changed the direction of my life.” – Bill Brewster
Whether he’s taking the roof off a club with his unique selection of deep and tough house music, enchanting a backroom with a genre-bending set of disco, Balearic, rock and hip hop or playing chillout music by a pool in Ibiza, Bill Brewster is the man for all occasions. Look at the sky and enjoy Cosmix 18 from one of dance music’s most respected aficionados.
In a former life, Bill was a punk rocker, a chef and also the co-editor of football magazine ‘When Saturday Comes’ but has been a record nerd all of his life. He began DJing in the 1980s, but came into his own in the early 1990s, particularly during a two-year stint in New York running DMC’s office, where nights at the Sound Factory and hanging out with Danny Tenaglia gave him the musical grounding you can still hear in his music today. Bill was also one of the founding residents at Fabric in London, a position he held for five years. There are few still playing regularly today that have his dedication, eclecticism and encyclopaedic knowledge of music.
His parallel life is as a writer and with his long-term partner-in-crime Frank Broughton they have written four books together, including the acclaimed ‘Last Night A DJ Saved My Life’, ‘How To DJ (Properly)’ and their most recent ‘The Record Players’. The pair were also behind the legendary money-drain DJhistory.com and their party which ran for 20 years from 1995, Low Life. They now spend most of their time on a yacht moored in Manchester Shipping Canal.
He has been working in the industry’s fringes for almost 30 years including the running of various labels from Twisted UK and Forensic in the ’90s to Disco Sucks and Anorak. Occasionally Bill finds time to secrete himself away in a studio to make music or cook up edits. And when he’s not doing any of that, he has a wife, two children and a dog called Mavis to tend to. He is currently working on a secret project involving New York and its immense musical history.
Check below for the interview and link to the mix:
Tell us about the mix?
I wanted to conjure up my idea of cosmic, which is slightly spacey and ethereal that possibly conjures up a feeling of being off your trolley on drugs. It was done in one take one afternoon in February 2017.
Where was it recorded?
In my record room at home.
How would you like for people to feel when they hear this music?
Entertained, firstly, and then engaged but hopefully not enraged.
How has music helped to sculpt and guide you in life?
My whole life has been punctuated by different periods of music, usually for entirely different reasons. Every time I pick up a record, there’s some sort of story behind it or a memory of what I was doing when I bought it. Even now, when I listen to music in the car, for example, a tune will come on that will suddenly transport me to a particular night decades ago. In the case of punk rock and acid house, it completely changed the direction of my life.
What does the word ‘cosmic’ mean to you?
Please can you give us a cosmic piece of art, quote or book that moves you:
I haven’t read it for a long time but GI Gurjieff’s Meetings With Remarkable Men was pretty cosmic when I was a 21 year old.
What do you think is the role of the DJ in the modern world?
The role of a DJ nowadays is as a filter, sifting out all the shit so ordinary people don’t have to bother listening to it, so by a Friday or Saturday night you only get to hear the good stuff. But also, they can be curators, they can be galvanisers and they can be inspirers, too.
But they can also be depressingly shit and egocentric, too. Far too many are, in fact.
How can we make the world a better place?
Are there any causes that you support, that you would like to bring into awareness?
In the UK, greater trade union organisation and more financial support for Grimsby Town FC.
Your favourite cosmic website?
I didn’t know there were any!
A pineapple fact?
My favourite pineapple dish is Ananas Condé.
A music fact?
I made my first record in 1981.
Check here to listen to the mix:
This post was written by Kim Booth