Black Secret Technology

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Black Secret Technology
Black Secret Technology - A Guy Called Gerald.jpg
Studio album by A Guy Called Gerald
Released February 1995
Studio Machine Room Studio, England
Length 77:57
Label Juice Box[1]
Producer Gerald Simpson
A Guy Called Gerald chronology
28 Gun Bad Boy
(1992)28 Gun Bad Boy1992
Black Secret Technology
Singles from Black Secret Technology
  1. "Finley’s Rainbow"
    Released: 1994
  2. "So Many Dreams"
    Released: 1996

Black Secret Technology is the fourth album by UK electronic producer and acid house pioneer A Guy Called Gerald, first released in February 1995 to widespread critical acclaim. It has since been described as the best jungle album of all-time by publications such as Fact, Pitchfork and Freaky Trigger.

Background and release[edit]

Gerald recorded Black Secret Technology after a period spent growing confident with new production methods and equipment, both analog and digital.[5] He later explained that "by 1995 I had found several ways to paint with sound," and noted that "every track I recorded using a different technique. I play the mix console - it’s my instrument."[5] The album's liner notes, written by Gerald, reference the music of ancient African tribal cultures as inspiration: "methods of rhythm helped early man to get in touch with the universe and his small part in it [...] I believe that these trance-like rhythms reflect my frustration to know the truth about my ancestors who talked with drums."[6]

In 1996, the album was repressed on CD and LP formats with new cover artwork and the bonus track "Hekkle and Koch" placed as the album's opener. In 2008, a remastered edition of the album was released, this time with the original 1995 cover art and the removal of both "Hekkle and Koch" and the unlisted hidden track "Touch Me". The album’s famously "murky" mastering was improved slightly, according to critics.[7][3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[8]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[9]
The Guardian 4/4 stars[1]
NME 8/10[10]
Pitchfork 8.7/10[3]
Record Collector 4/5 stars[11]
Select 4/5[12]
XLR8R 9.5/10[13]

Since its release, Black Secret Technology has received widespread acclaim and has been described as a "candidate for "best jungle album ever."[3] In a 1995 review, Andy Smith of The Guardian proclaimed that Simpson was "among the first of his peers to corral [the genre] on to a satisfying album" as he had previously done with acid house, calling it “enthralling."[1] Select placed the album on their list of Top 50 albums of 1995 at number 16.[14] Discussing the 1997 reissue, Ian Harrison of Select stated that "there're few records in this fast-moving genre that could sound as good as this does now," adding that "the album will one day have him listed among Sun Ra/Lee Perry/George Clinton cosmic clubhouse of interstellar visionaries."[12] In 1999, Tom Ewing of Freaky Trigger described it as the "best jungle album ever," stating that Gerald "latched onto a more turbulent tradition, the jazz-funk-electronica of Pangaea-era Miles Davis or Sextant-era Herbie Hancock, and the music he made boiled like theirs."[15] He ranked "Finley's Rainbow" as the sixth best single of the 1990s.[15]

In 2010, Fact magazine ranked it the fourth best album of the 1990s, calling it "gloriously knotted, soulful and uniquely psychedelic;"[16] Fact critic Mark Fisher wrote that the album "succeeded in simultaneously being of its moment and transcending it," praising in particular "the way that Gerald transforms the jungle sound into a kind of dreamy OtherWorld music [...]: humid, tropical, full of strange bird cries, seething with nonhuman sentience."[2] Tim Finney of Pitchfork wrote that "there is simply no other single-artist jungle album that pushes consciousness-altering beat programming as far, as fearlessly, as it is pushed here."[3] Lee Arizuno of The Quietus called it "one of the best dance albums ever made," adding that "what stands is psychedelic rhythm with a purpose: to reconnect in the midst of a formless and hectic present, to present a human glow in the midst of a harsh environment."[6]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "So Many Dreams" 6:45
2. "Alita's Dream" 5:00
3. "Finley's Rainbow" (Slow Motion Mix) 5:30
4. "The Nile" 4:14
5. "Energy" (Extended Mix) 6:12
6. "Silent Cry" 5:42
7. "Dreaming of You" 6:12
8. "Survival" 5:44
9. "Cybergen" 4:32
10. "The Reno" 5:18
11. "Cyberjazz" 4:52
12. "Voodoo Rage" 6:02
13. "Life Unfolds His Mystery" 5:21
14. "Touch Me" (unlisted track, not included on 2008 reissue) 6:33
Total length: 77:57


  1. ^ a b c d Smith, Andy (17 March 1995). "A Guy Called Gerald: Black Secret Technology (Juice Box)". The Guardian. pp. A12–A14. ISSN 0261-3077. 
  2. ^ a b "The 100 Best Albums of the 1990s". Fact. 3 September 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Finney, Tim (13 January 2009). "A Guy Called Gerald: Black Secret Technology". Pitchfork. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  4. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2013). Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture. Routledge. p. 427. 
  5. ^ a b Iozzi. "A Guy Called Gerald: "I'm always confused by DJs who don't or can't dance"". The Sun. Retrieved 10 March 2018. 
  6. ^ a b "Black Secret Technology reissue". The Quietus. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2018. 
  7. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of the 1990s". Fact. 3 September 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2017. 
  8. ^ Cooper, Sean. "Black Secret Technology – A Guy Called Gerald". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  9. ^ Larkin, Colin (2009). "Guy Called Gerald". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-972636-1. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  10. ^ Lewis, Angela. "A Guy Called Gerald – Black Secret Technology". NME. Archived from the original on 12 October 2000. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  11. ^ Needs, Kris (December 2008). "A Guy Called Gerald – Black Secret Technology". Record Collector (356). Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Harrison, Ian (February 1997). "A Guy Called Gerald: Black Secret Technology". Select (80): 91. 
  13. ^ Lopez, Luciana (17 October 2008). "A Guy Called Gerald: Black Secret Technology". XLR8R. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  14. ^ "Top 50 Albums of The Year". Select. January 1995. p. 78. 
  15. ^ a b Ewing, Tom (13 December 1999). "6. A GUY CALLED GERALD – "Finley's Rainbow"". FreakyTrigger. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  16. ^ "FACT mix 138: A Guy Called Gerald". Fact. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2017. 

External links[edit]