Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Guy Called Gerald, a true techno survivor...

Manchester based Gerald Simpson AKA, A Guy Called Gerald is probably one of the best known and respected artists from the UK electronic music scene and one that certainly doesn't belong to any one particular movement as over the years he's jumped from acid house, techno to Jungle etc..

In the late 80's Gerald started out by trying to emulating the electronic sounds of Chicago and Detroit. The results where an infectious mixture of alien sounding afro acid grooves which sounded very unique with only the bare blueprints of the Detroit techno sound left intact. 1988 saw the release of his seminal "Hot Lemonade" album and at around the same time Gerald also worked with fellow Manchester based techno outfit 808 state on the heavily acid tinged techno album"Newbuild"

"Hot Lemonade" featured a version of the 1990 hit "Voodoo Ray" but overall the album really displayed an artist bursting with electronic innovation and it still sounds soulful and futuristic even today.



The early nineties saw Gerald in the top of the Charts with the Haunting tech mantra "Voodoo Ray" and then the release of his second album "Automanik" on CBS records, the album continued with a similar feel to his debut but sounded more polished and accomplished. One of the tracks titled "Untitled" was originally going to be called "Specific Hate" after the alleged lack of credit Gerald got for his creative input on 808 State's chart hit "Pacific" but the record company decided it was better to go with "Untitled" or "Subscape" as on the vinyl edition.




Gerald was pretty much respected for being one of the key acid and techno music UK originators but in 1992 he embarked on a new direction and this time possibly single handily invented the Jungle movement with his proto junglist album "28 Gun Bad Boy" which was full of clattering breakbeats deep sub basses and rude boy ragga chants and of course his trade mark melodies and electronic sound. By the mid nineties "Black Secret Technology" hit the scene, again Gerald displays a truly unique vision of the Drum & Bass/Jungle sound, a deep and dark tribal funk oozing with blues and ethereal ambient vibes yet retaining a street wise sound which certainly set him light years apart from the rest of the jungle scene.



Through the late 90's and early to mid 00's Gerald released some more albums and various 12" etc, his Junglist sound became a little more accessible somewhat, as he ventured into a kind of mature soul vibe which was particularly evident on the "Essence"released through K7 records but he managed to keep his position as a legend of British electronica.

In 2006 Gerald releases an new collection of techno on the Berlin Based label Laboratory instinct, the album "Proto Acid the Berlin Sessions" is a collection of deep techno acid jams with that distinct Gerald Simpson feel, Incredibly programmed drum machines emitting poly rhythms in perfect harmony with synchronized bleeping and buzzing circuits with a dark and soulful edge.



May 2010 saw Gerald returning with another album for the Laboratory Instinct label, this time titled "Tronic Jazz The Berlin sessions" initially I was expecting some sort of conceptual jazz electronica album but we are treated to another excellent collection of moody and soulful floor movers and right from the opening Gerald sets the tone with the stunning dreamy Detroit inspired "People moover" the album pretty much moves effortlessly from gem to gem, the dubby technoid flavor of "The Dip" sees Gerald mixing up the genres of techno and house and beyond with the greatest of ease, then we have tracks like the minimal bass driven stomper "Wow Yeah" The album also includes yet another version of "Pacific" in the shape of "Pacific Samba" well you can never have enough versions of this classic!!!!

The album finishes of with the eerie pulsating arppeggiated sci-fi soundtrack of "Merfed" Ok so Gerald may not be currently releasing groundbreaking material like he did in the past but he has proved that in world full of unidentifiable techno clones that this Guy from Manchester is still more relevant than ever, and he also proves that there is still plenty of life left in this beast called "techno".




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