Manchester born London based DJ. Plays eclectic sets consisting of house, techno, electro, funk, soul and disco
t seems clubland has finally caught up with Wes Baggaley. For years, the self confessed vinyl addict has been familiar to promoters, record store staff and gay clubbers in Manchester and London, but it now seems he is set to become as familiar a face to a much wider audience.
From 2016 to 2017 he played some of the best regarded underground parties across Europe including NYC Downlow, Horse Meat Disco, Tama Sumo and Lakuti's Your Love, Handsome and repeat appearances at Dalston Superstore.
2018 has seen him expand on that considerably. Written features across several leading dance music titles have appeared and Wes has done live streamed sets for Mixmag's The Lab and an extremely well received one for Boiler Room. These have resulted in an explosion of pan European bookings in 2018 including Czech Republic, St Petersburg, Lausanne, Switzerland alongside Prosumer, Corvin Club in Budapest, Guest House in Bucharest, Romania, Pal in Hamburg alongside Deetron and Sugar Factory in Amsterdam where he also guested on Red Light Radio.
Baggaley is proving a dab hand at radio. In the period from October 2017 to June 2018 he hosted over 30 shows on Rinse FM, where he is regarded as one of their most reliable regulars. The show offers Baggaley the opportunity to stretch out from the techno, American and deep house sounds he is usually asked to play after dark in Europe's clubs. 2018 has also seen him cement his relationship with Dalston Superstore. He guest DJ'd at the famed venue's 9th birthday and is about to embark on a new residency at the club, Bottom Heavy, alongside top cat Dan Beaumont. He has also guested at the night of Dalston Superstore friends Chapter 10. It has certainly been a notable 24 months for Wes Baggaley, but this success has not come overnight.
As an early teen, Wes had no other hobby than music. His collection of pop music 7” singles included the house music hits of the day; at the time they were his only exposure to the music exploding in popularity on dancefloors like The Hacienda's, just a few miles from his Wigan home. When old enough to start clubbing himself, Baggaley singles out a coach trip to see Derrick Carter play at Back To Basics in Leeds as a revelation. Having been exposed to such sounds, the offerings at local clubs in his peripheral town would no longer suffice and Manchester, to where he would eventually move, became his exclusive destination.
In Manchester, Wes's record shopping increased dramatically. He would frequent the city's gay clubs socially but, unsatisfied with the music they played, also sought out sounds he preferred at straight techno and deep house nights like Bugged Out. Caught between these two worlds, his first residencies, which began in the early 2000s, were not altogether successful. He had been embraced by and given opportunities as a DJ on the city's gay scene, but his Chicago and other refined, American house sounds weren't what the gay clubbers of the time wished to hear. It's fair to say it took him several years to find a niche within the city. But he eventually did, not least as support to Horse Meat Disco when the London disco crew held a residency in Manchester.
But, just as he was beginning to receive the kind of attention in Manchester that he'd long craved, Baggaley threw it all away to move to London. There, he would have to begin breaking into a city's scene all over again. Opportunities arose at places like The Eagle, home to Horse Meat Disco, where his stellar selections, deep knowledge, faultless programming and ultra smooth transitions were instantly recognised. But it was only in 2016, when he was invited by Gideon Berger to play multiple sets within Block9 at Glastonbury Festival (including at the famed gay club NYC Downlow), that he began to receive the respect of the city and regain the kind of attention he'd had in Manchester.
Block9 and NYC Downlow are now recognised as one of the leading clubbing destinations in the world with leading DJs such as Masters At Work reducing their fees and personally asking to play. As a gay clubbing experience, its cool soundtrack is far different to that which was in vogue on Manchester's gay scene when Wes first started to DJ. Wes Baggaley's underground house sets, inspired by a lifetime of musical knowledge, were incredibly well received at Block9 alongside those of Hannah Holland, Horse Meat Disco, Dan Beaumont and Chapter 10, Midland, Gideon, Prosumer and Michael Serafini.
All of a sudden, underground gay club sounds, presented by gay DJs, have returned to the progressive and popular forefront of the club scene, just as it was during the genesis of both disco and house music. Straight clubbing has learned to love its gay roots and gay clubs have rediscovered their love of great music. These once polarized elements are the domain in which Wes Baggaley has long existed. With a fledgling production career just having started, this exciting and highly experienced DJ looks set to join the aforementioned in spearheading a brand new movement.