A Guy Called Gerald
Since the 80’s, Manchester UK native, A GUY CALLED GERALD, born Gerald Simpson, has proven to be among the most innovative modern music figures. His influence is international, and through his versatility he has spawned genres and generations of music culture. From his early experimentation with techno and acid house to his groundbreaking contributions to drum’n’bass, Simpson’s art and craft has perpetually evolved regardless of his individual successes in each of those genres.
Jamaica was the drum-beat of his early years; from his father’s blue-beat, ska and Trojan reggae record collection, his mother’s pentecostal church sessions to the Jamaican Sound System parties in Manchester’s Moss Side area. In the early – mid 80’s Manchester dance floors at clubs like Legends were vibing to jazz funk, jazz fusion and electro and Gerald took full advantage hitting the dancefloors at night while studying contemporary dance by day. But later when electrofunk, breaking and b-boy culture fully hit the UK he left college to immerse himself in the music. He began rigging analogue and drum machines up together making his own formations inspired by the new sounds filtering into Manchester’s import recordstores from Detroit and Chicago.
His first creative efforts were in The Hit Squad, a Manchester hip hop collective. There was one release Wax On The Melt before Simpson, Massey and Price formed 808 State. It was a brief collaboration re-sulting in one album Newbuild and their biggest hit Pacific State (although not credited until later after a court battle). By then, Gerald had gone solo releasing the album Hot Lemonade and unwillingly scoring a Top 20 smash worldwide with the seminal Voodoo Ray, a track cited as the first to put British House music firmly on the map.
In 1992, following a brief period signed with major label CBS/Sony and resulting in his 2nd album Automanikk, he discovered the glory of breakbeats and began releasing a series of genre defining records on his own Juice Box Records label. The first singles were compiled and released on the LP 28 Gun Bad Boy. “If there was a blueprint for what would transform rave into jungle/techno, then this is it.” Simon Reynolds said in Melody Maker at the time.
After moving the label to London in 1995 he followed up with the critically acclaimed Black Secret Technology LP incorporating Goldie and the vocals of Finley Quaye. A busy period followed performing around the globe spreading the drum’n’bass sound, touring with Tricky and working with the likes of David Bowie and Herbie Hancock. In 1998 he closed the label and moved operations to New York.
In 2000 came Essence (!K7 Records), an experiment in transforming the stereotypically aggressive drum’n’bass sound into soulful arrangements. It featured musicians such as Lady Kier, Louise Rhodes (Lamb), David Simpson and the singer/songwriter Wendy Page. The UK’s Guardian newspaper described it as ‘A perfect synthesis of Gerald’s rhythmic technique and soulful drum’n’bass … a triumph’. He took a live band on the road in 2001 touring the US and Europe jamming live the sounds on Essence. Other projects followed; a remix for the soundtrack to the movie Requiem For A Dream and a collaboration with Bill Laswell and Herbie Hancock and a tour with Bebel Gilberto.
In 2002 he moved back to Europe and disappeared deep into the studio to work on a new album.
A Guy Called Gerald – Live at Radio One 6Mix 13-10-2007
A Guy Called Gerald – Live at Hard Plaza at Movement Detroit Festival 28-05-2007 (Part1)
A Guy Called Gerald – Live at Hard Plaza at Movement Detroit Festival 28-05-2007 (Part2)
A Guy Called Gerald – Live at Ibiza Sonica 04-09-2011
A Guy Called Gerald – DJ Set at Club Ibiza Radio 09-08-2011
A Guy Called Gerald & Mr. Doris – DJ Set at We Love Ibiza Podcast 25-07-2011
A Guy Called Gerald – Live at Efir Club Showcase, RTS.FM 16-04-2011
A Guy Called Gerald – Live at Boiler Room, Berlin 30-05-2012
Turbobit • Rapidshare
A Guy Called Gerald – DJ Set at Resident Advisor Podcast 19-03-2012
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