Western Australia’s Dr Packer, aka DJ Greg Packer, has a 35 year DJ career under his belt, countless DJ awards, 10 international DJ Tours, 24 years studio experience and years running his now defunct D&B record label Interphase Music – he’s no stranger to the music business! His magical Soul, Funk and Disco reworks and re-edits have featured on top labels such as Z Records, Fool’s Paradise, Disco Dat, Salsoul Records, Midnight Riot, Defected, Big Love, Glitterbox, Soulfuric, CR2 and more. As his new collar with Elektrik Disko ‘My Lovin’ drops on Fool’s Paradise, DMCWorld finally caught up with the mighty Dr Packer.

Hey Greg! Thanks very much for taking the time to sit down with us here at DMC World. How’s 2024 been for you so far?

All Good thanks, I’ve just had my first Traxsource number one with T Connection ‘At Midnight Remix’, so 2024 is off to a strong start!

Please can you introduce yourself to our DMC World readers.

My Name is ‘Dr Packer’ AKA ‘Greg Packer’ i was a Drum & Bass DJ / Producer from the early 90s , but around ten years ago (2013) I created ‘Dr Packer’ specifically for Remixes and Re-Edits of mainly my favourite music that I grew up with which I wanted to introduce again to a new audience and have the opportunity to play them out again in my own DJ sets.

What is the best piece of new music you have heard recently?

Michael Gray’s new track ‘Fly Away’, which is a cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘As’. I was lucky enough to get an early copy of it a year ago and it’s been one of the biggest tracks in my sets ever since.

You’re well known for your Disco, Funk and Soul reworks and re-edits, how did that all start?

I decided to quit Drum & Bass music in 2013 and I then took on a residency at a beach bar playing soul, funk and disco originals all on vinyl. It was shortly after this I discovered the whole ‘Re-Edit’ genre after stumbling across names such as Late Nite Tuff Guy and Fingerman, for example. I decided I wanted a piece of the action, so I changed the first part of my DJ name from ‘Greg’ to ‘Dr’ and went from there.

So have you got a massive record collection full of classics?

Fairly big yes, I have been downsizing for the last 20 years though since 2003, so a lot of it has gone now but there are still around 6,000 or so left. I can’t imagine how big it would have been if I’d have kept it all.

What’s been your most successful release so far?

Hard to say, but a definite contender would have to be last year’s ‘Southern Freeez’ Remix I did of UK Brit funk band Freeez, it held the number one position for possibly the longest to date.

Southern Freeez (Dr Packer Extended Mix)

Congratulations on your new collaboration with Elektrik Disko on ‘My Lovin’ on Fool’s Paradise. What was the inspiration behind the release and what can we expect to hear?

Elektrik Disko (Jolyon) and I had chatted about collaborating, he had a rough demo which was an Evelyn ‘Champagne’ KIng cover of ‘If You Want My Lovin’. I was always a fan of that track, so I took a listen, liked it and finished it off in my studio, it was then sent to Mark Knight at Toolroom / Fools Paradise, and here we are!

Dr Packer, Elektrik Disko - My Lovin' [Disco/House]

How did you and Elektrik Disko meet and will you be working together again in the future?

I was playing lots of shows in Melbourne, Australia where Elektrik Disko (Jolyon) lives. He turned up at one of my gigs and we got chatting, exchanged some tracks and spoke about maybe doing something together in the studio. We are just finishing off another collaboration, so yes there is definitely more in the pipeline.

You’ve remixed songs for Bootsy Collins, Jocelyn Brown, Chaka Khan, Freeez, Colonel Abrams, Dave Lee, Robert Owens, Carl Cox, Purple Disco Machine, and so many more. Who else would you love to give the Dr Packer treatment?

The way I work, I tend to do the mixes first and then ask the release questions later. If it gets shelved then it ends up being a DJ Exclusive. I’ve remixed Brass Construction ‘Movin’ recently and currently in talks with Randy Muller about trying to get that licensed for an official release – that would be a massive dream come true for me. There are many other similar situations such as my recent mix of Crusaders ‘Street Life’ for example.. The paperwork is always the hardest part, I mean these days with the stem ripping software anyone can remix whatever they want right?

And how do you typically go about putting a new track together?

It depends if its an official remix then stems are usually provided. If it’s an original, I have a guy that helps out on keys which we work together online, if it’s a re-edit / overdub, then I’ll do all the warping first then start layering my own drums and replay the bass, etc. Each time I’m in the studio its usually different and there never is a plan really. I try to just let the creative juices flow and if its working I’ll proceed, if not, it gets shelved and maybe I look at it down the line.

What has been your favourite DJ gig so far this year and where are you most looking forward to playing?

I Played a show in my hometown of Perth called ‘The Disco Amigos’ it was a proper older crowd that knew disco & soul music, the vibe was amazing!!!! Going forward, I am looking forward to playing at Woodlands Festival in Nottingham UK, alongside heavyweights Jocelyn Brown, Sister Sledge and Michael Gray, etc, plus many more on my UK Summer tour.

You’re based in Australia, how is the music scene there at the moment and who is hot?

The scene in general is struggling due to the cost of living, many shows are being cancelled, including some of my own, which is giving me covid flashbacks. But I am always remaining optimistic though on the hope that things will improve. On the production side of things for me personally Elektrik Disko and Robbie Casa Blanco out of Melbourne are on the money with the production right now.

You’ve been making music for a long time, how has the industry changed since you first started out and what now needs to change for the better?

I started when vinyl was the only option and I have seen it evolve to what it is now – sync buttons and DJ’s travelling with a few USB sticks, haha. Sadly. promoters are booking the Instagram giants with the most followers, rather than looking at who is actually talented and doing well in the charts, etc. It would be nice to see that change but I doubt it ever will, haha!

We come to raid your record collection, which embarrassing record do you chuck out the window before we arrive? 

It would be a toss between Showaddywaddy or my Adam & The Ants album, haha!

What record makes you say ‘damn, I wish I made that’?

As previously mentioned Michael Gray ‘Fly Away’. I always wanted to do a faster Rework of Stevie Wonder’s ‘AS’, but thought it would never work, but Michael has proved me wrong, haha.

Finally, what new productions are you working on that you can tell us about?

Just finished a cover version of ‘You Got The Love’, which has been done in a disco way rather than the previous house versions, so its quite different. I recently released on TK Disco and have confirmed another one with them which I can’t say the title, but its on the label again. Also a cool original with John Rocca from ‘Freeez’, so watch this space…

Dr Packer & Electrik Disko ‘My Lovin’ is out now on Fool’s Paradise.