Gilles Peterson

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The taste-maker extraordinaire

Gilles Peterson wears lots of hats. DJ, broadcaster, record producer, label boss, musical traveller, unstoppable record collector… For decades, he’s been an activist, eagerly enthusing about soul, jazz, funk, hip-hop and house, regardless of its postmark. For Gilles, it’s all about progress, about constantly moving forward. Past glories are all very well, as is a sense of musical heritage, but he feels he’s only as good as the last artist he signed, or the last DJ set he did. “I’m in the now,” he declares. “I think the moment you start relying on your history, it’s all over.” And – aside from the fact that they face forward – most, if not all, of his selections are shot through with one thing: soul. Whether American jazz or Japanese hip-hop or Brazilian funk, the artist has to mean it. After all, Gilles Peterson means everything he does.

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