A Guy Called Gerald

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A Guy Called Gerald
Aguycalledgerald2.jpg
A Guy Called Gerald performing at DEMF in 2007
Background information
Birth name Gerald Simpson
Born (1967-02-16) 16 February 1967 (age 47)
Origin Moss Side, Manchester, England
Genres Acid house, drum and bass, techno, electronica
Occupation(s) Producer, musician, DJ
Instruments Synthesizer, drum programming, sampler, keyboards
Labels SUGOI, Protechshon, Rham Records, Columbia/CBS, Juice Box Records, Retroactive, !K7 Records, Sender Records, Laboratory Instinct, Perlon Records
Associated acts 808 State
Website guycalledgerald.com

Gerald Rydel Simpson (born 16 February 1967, Moss Side, Manchester, England), better known as A Guy Called Gerald, is a British musician, record producer and DJ.

He is best known for his early work in the Manchester acid house scene in the late 1980s[1] and the track "Voodoo Ray". At that time, he specialised in techno music produced using equipment such as the Roland TB-303 bass synthesiser and the TR-808 drum machine.

Early influences and music[edit]

Simpson was influenced by his Jamaican roots; his father's blue beat, ska and Trojan reggae record collection, his mother's Pentecostal church sessions and the Jamaican sound system parties in Manchester's Moss Side area where he grew up.

He absorbed jazz fusion at clubs such as Legends in Manchester, where the dancefloor in the early 1980s inspired him to study contemporary dance. Around 1983 with electro booming and early hip hop, breakdancing and b-boy culture making its way from the US, he left dance college to immerse himself in electronic music. At this time music from Detroit and Chicago – from producers such as Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson was being played by Stu Allen on Piccadilly Radio and imported directly into Manchester's specialist record shops.

Inspired, Simpson began experimenting with tape editing and drum machines and the regular jams in the attic of his house led to forming the Scratchbeat Masters. Using cut up beats, samples and turntables they would challenge other bands and their sound systems. They released a 12" single called "Wax On The Melt", a collaboration between a number of crews and Graham Massey and Martin Price together with whom he would later form 808 State. Their first album, Newbuild, was released in 1988, but he soon left the group to concentrate on his solo work.

Success and releases[edit]

The result of heading back into his bedroom studio was "Voodoo Ray", played first at the Hacienda in 1988 and then the underground clubs before entering the UK Singles Chart a year later. It was one of the first acid house tracks produced in the UK, and released on a small Merseyside independent label (Rham! Records) based in Liscard, Wallasey.[2] "Voodoo Ray" entered the UK record chart in 1989 rising to number 12.[3] It was also the best selling independently released single of that year.[citation needed]

At the same time a track Simpson started before leaving 808 State, "Pacific State", was released and hit the charts. However, according to Simpson, they had finished and released the track without his permission. Although Simpson was credited on its first release on the album Quadrastate both as a writer and co-producer, the dispute escalated as Simpson claimed to have written the entire track. The dispute was eventually settled out of court.[citation needed]

In 1991, after CBS / Sony released Automanikk, he started his own label, Juice Box Records, releasing a string of 12" singles – the seeds of what became known as jungle and later drum and bass. The first singles were compiled and released on his third album 28 Gun Bad Boy (1992). In 1995, his next album, Black Secret Technology was released. He released a remastered version in June 2008.

In 1997, he moved to New York and, in 2000, released Essence on the independent label !K7 Records. Essence was Simpson's first song-based rather than dance/club album, featuring guests such as Lou Rhodes, David Simpson, Lady Miss Kier and Wendy Page. In January 2005, he released a more ambient album To All Things What They Need, also on !K7 Records.

In August 2006, Proto Acid / The Berlin Sessions was released on the German label, Laboratory Instinct. A continuous mix album, it was recorded live in Berlin. It was followed up by Tronic Jazz / The Berlin Sessions in 2010.

Juice Box Records[edit]

Juice Box Records
Founder Gerald Simpson
Defunct 1998
Genre Drum and bass, techno
Country of origin United Kingdom
Location Manchester, England

Juice Box Records was an independent record label in the United Kingdom, based at Riverside Studios in West London. It was established by Simpson in 1992, after he left SME Records,[4] and closed in 1998. It took its name from the sound system that Simpson operated with MC Tunes.[5] The label provided an outlet for seven years for Simpson's work, with thirty three titles released under various other pseudonyms such as The K.G.B. and Ricky Rouge, and collaborations between Simpson and artists including Lisa May, DJ Tamsin, Goldie (as 'The 2 G's'), and Finley Quaye.[6]

The label has been identified as being responsible for influential releases that provided the blueprint for what was to become jungle then drum and bass,[4] with early singles on the label described as "genre-defining".[7] The early singles on the label were compiled on the LP 28 Gun Bad Boy, of which Simon Reynolds of Melody Maker stated in a review of the album, "If there was a blueprint for what would transform rave into jungle/techno, then this is it."[7] Reynolds also stated in a Melody Maker article in October 1994, about Simpson's Juice Box-era music, "Gerald's tracks take the jungle mesh of polyrhythms, cross-rhythms and counter-rhythms to new levels of insane detail."[8] Gerald's Black Secret Technology LP was released in 1995, including contributions from Goldie and Finley Quaye,[7] and is regarded as the first full-length Jungle album ever released.[9] In 1998, the label closed, with Simpson relocating to New York.

Discography[edit]

Albums (A Guy Called Gerald)[edit]

  • Hot Lemonade (1989 - Rham! Records)
  • Automanikk (1990 - Columbia/CBS) – UK #68[3]
  • Hi Life, Lo Profile (Columbia/CBS, 1990 — Unreleased)
  • 28 Gun Bad Boy (1992 - Juice Box Records)
  • Black Secret Technology (1995 - Juice Box Records) – UK #64[3]
  • Cryogenix (1999 - MP3.com)
  • Essence (2000 - !K7 Records)
  • To All Things What They Need (2005 - !K7 Records)
  • Proto Acid – The Berlin Sessions (2006 - Laboratory Instinct)
  • Tronic Jazz – The Berlin Sessions (2010 - Laboratory Instinct)
  • Silent Sound Spread Spectrum (2013 - Bowers & Wilkins – 60, Real World Records – 60, Society of Sound Music – 60)

Live[edit]

  • The John Peel Sessions (Strange Fruit 1989)
  • The John Peel Sessions – A Guy Called Gerald (Strange Fruit 1999)

Singles / 12" (A Guy Called Gerald unless specified)[edit]

  • "Voodoo Ray" Single (Rham! Records 1988) – UK #12[3]
  • "Voodoo Ray" EP (Rham! Records 1988)
  • "Voodoo Ray Remixes" (Warlock USA 1988)
  • "Voodoo Ray Remixes" (Rham! Records 1988)
  • "Hot Lemonade" (Rham! Records 1989)
  • "Hot Lemonade Youth Remixes" (Rham! Records 1989)
  • "The Peel Sessions" EP (Strange Fruit 1989)
  • "Trip City" (1989)
  • "FX" / "Eyes of Sorrow" (1989) – UK #52[3]
  • "FX Mayday Mix" (CBS / Sony 1989)
  • "FX Elevation Mix" (CBS / Sony 1989)
  • "The Peel Sessions" EP (USA 1990)
  • "Automanikk (Just 4 U Gordon Mix" EP USA 1990)
  • "Automanikk (Bass Overload Mix" EP USA 1990)
  • "Automanikk (Bass Overload Mix" EP USA 1990)
  • "Emotions Electric" (Juice Box Records 1990)
  • "Disneyband / Anything" (Juice Box Records 1991)
  • "Nowhere to Run" – Inertia (Black Out Records 1991)
  • "Digital Bad Boy" (Juice Box Records 1992)
  • "Cops" (Juice Box Records 1992)
  • "Ses Makes You Wise" (Juice Box Records 1992)
  • "The Musical Magical Midi Machine" (Juice Box Records 1992)
  • "Changing" (Juice Box Records 1992)
  • "I Feel The Magic" (Juice Box Records 1993)
  • "Strange Love" – Ricky Rouge (Juice Box Records 1993)
  • "Strange Love Remixes" – Ricky Rouge (Juice Box Records 1993)
  • "When You Took My Love" – Ricky Rouge (Juice Box Records 1993)
  • "De Ja Vu" – Ricky Rouge (Juice Box Records 1993)
  • "Song For Every Man" – Ricky Rouge (Juice Box Records 1993)
  • "Satisfaction" – Inertia (Juice Box Records 1993)
  • "Fragments" – Inertia (Juice Box Records 1993)
  • "Too Fucked to Dance" – Inertia (Juice Box Records 1993)
  • "The Glok" (Juice Box Records 1993)
  • "Nazinji-zaka" (Juice Box Records 1993)
  • "Darker Than I Should Be" (Juice Box Records 1993)
  • "Finley's Rainbow" (Juice Box Records 1995)
  • "Finley's Rainbow Remixes" (Juice Box Records 1995)
  • "So Many Dreams" (Juice Box Records 1996)
  • "The Curse Of Voodoo Ray" Promo Only (Juice Box Records 1996)
  • "Radar Systems" (Juice Box Records 1998)
  • "Fever" (!K7 2000)
  • "Humanity" (!K7 2000)
  • "First Try" (!K7 2005)
  • "Flo-ride" (Sugoi 2005)
  • "Is Man In Danger" (Protechshon 2005)
  • "Sufistifunk" (Sugoi 2006)
  • "Time to Jak" (Sender 2006)
  • "Proto Acid / The Berlin Sessions 1" (Laboratory Instinct 2006)
  • "Proto Acid / The Berlin Sessions 2" (Laboratory Instinct 2006)
  • "In Ya Head" (featuring Mia) (Perlon Records PERL71 2008)
  • "Tronic Jazz / The Berlin Sessions 1" (Laboratory Instinct 2010)
  • "Tronic Jazz / The Berlin Sessions 2" (Laboratory Instinct 2010)
  • "Tronic Jazz / The Berlin Sessions 3" (Laboratory Instinct 2010)
  • "Tronic Jazz / The Berlin Sessions 4" (Laboratory Instinct 2010)

Albums (collaborations)[edit]

  • Newbuild – 808 State (Creed 1988)
  • Prebuild – 808 State (Rephlex 2005)

Singles (collaborations)[edit]

  • "Let Yourself Go" – 808 State (1988)
  • "Dream 17" – Annette (Deconstruction 1988)
  • "Massage-A-Rama" – Lounge Jays (1989)
  • "Born In The North" – US (Wooden 1989)
  • "Energy" – The Two G'$ (Juice Box Records 1995)
  • "Black Gravity" – with Herbie Hancock / Bill Laswell (2001)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IMO Records. "A Guy Called Gerald Biography", IMO Records, Retrieved on 24 February 2012.
  2. ^ Knowhere.co.uk. Knowhere.co.uk (5 February 2009). Retrieved on 5 August 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 238. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ a b Vision – A Guy Called Gerald. Visionmusic.co.uk. Retrieved on 5 August 2011.
  5. ^ Label Profile – A Guy Called Gerald" from ''Echoes'', June 1994. Homepages.force9.net. Retrieved on 5 August 2011.
  6. ^ Juice Box. Discogs.com. Retrieved on 5 August 2011.
  7. ^ a b c new music radio from Tokyo, Japan & The World. samurai.fm. Retrieved on 5 August 2011.
  8. ^ Melody Maker, 8 October 1994, reproduced here
  9. ^ Allmusic review of Black Secret Technology

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]