A IS FOR A GUY CALLED GERALD (PT 1)

“Techno’s “Anarchy In The UK”, and still the only house record you can reproduce perfectly with a pub piano and four drunken friends on hand-claps and “Ooo-OOO-ooh”s.” Richard Norris (The Grid et al)

If ever anyone is associated with a single techno track, it’s A Guy Called Gerald and his early acid house hit “Voodoo Ray”.

A Guy Called Gerald is musician, record producer and DJ Gerald Simpson (born February 16, 1967) from Moss Side in Manchester, UK. 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 the techno pioneers in Detroit and Chicago 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. 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.

The result of heading back into his bedroom studio was “Voodoo Ray”, played first at the infamous Hacienda in 1988 and then the underground clubs and entering the UK charts 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). Without the backing of the major label marketing machine and spurred on by the acid house fever, “Voodoo Ray” entered the UK charts in 1989 rising to number 12. It was also the best selling independently released single of that year.

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 Simpson’s 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.

If it isn’t heresy, I can’t say I liked Voodoo Ray when it came out (too austere) and I still don’t. Anyway, you decide – classic or clunker?
A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray
A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray (Rham On Acid Mix)
A Guy Called Gerald – Escape
Gerald website
Gerald MySpace
Buy product.

~ by acidted on March 21, 2008.

One Response to “A IS FOR A GUY CALLED GERALD (PT 1)”

  1. […] Guy Called Gerald first featured here all the way back in March 2008. But for anyone who needs reminding about Gerald: Since the 80’s, […]

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