|Identikit Dance: A Guy Called Gerald|
16 February - 1 March 1995
For real, you could quite safely bet your most treasured possession on the fact that virtually anyone with even a passing interest in electronic technology in music will cite A Guy Called Gerald's 'Voodoo Ray' as one of their all time faves, full stop. In the hazy days of 88/89 when the fledgling rave scene sheltered all of it's developing sub blends under one umbrella, the 'ooh aah ooh aah yeah' vocal loop in this track with its oriental sounding riff and 5am attributes saw 'Voodoo Ray' lifted to eternal status as one of those special groundbreaking tracks. But contrary to many people's knowledge, A Guy Called Gerald didn't take residence in the ex-ravers retirement home after the debut album 'Automanikk'. He buried himself deep underground in the jungle scene, releasing loads'a firing tracks on his Juice Box label, as well as the second album '28 Gun Bad Boy', back in the days when the reggae side of jungle was at the cutting edge.
February 13th sees the release of a new long player 'Black Secret Technology'. It's on a totally different level, it seems that here Gerald Simpson has immersed himself in that subconscious dark hidden place in between sleep and awake states of mind and taken his dictaphone to record what's there! Songs like 'So Many Dreams', 'Darker Than I Should Be', the collaboration with Goldie on 'Energy' and what can be seen as 'Voodoo Ray' part 2 in 'Voodoo Rage' show a dreamy dark feel characteristic of the whole album.
"Nothing else has really appealed to me as much as the breaks scene has," Gerald says when asked why he has remained with jungle when his work was being demanded by virtually every other side of house music. "Sometimes I'm in some club that's playing whatever kind of house and I just look at the faces of the people there. You know, they're dancing away, borrowing each others water and everything but I just don't see that look in their eyes anymore. It's like, sad really, as if they're searching for something that they'd lost somewhere along the way. But then you go into a hardcore club and they're really havin' it, there's a buzz, it's exciting - you know?"
I know. We got Gerald and you ain't. Psyche! The friendly rivalries between producers in jungle always trying to get one step ahead of the next man with regards to new studio techniques is a state of affairs that Gerald is very aware of, and feels very comfortable with. Small things on this album - what sounds like reversed microphone feedback at the end of 'Silent Cry' or the whispered voices underneath the bassline in 'Cybergen' show that Gerald has many many aces up his sleeve and this album should see nuff producers proclaiming in their best Des Lynam voice "how the hell did he do that?!"
"I love playing around with sounds," Gerald says (don't we know it!). "There are things that you can do with one sound that can turn you inside out. Also in the mix if a sound is heard at different points around the head it can have totally different effects on you. I found a DAT tape the other day of something I recorded like two years ago on fireworks night. I was in this studio which was on the top floor of a building and there was a big fireworks display outside so I put a microphone outside the window and recorded it all. That should be fun playing around with!"
'Black Secret Technology', don't keep it a secret! What a nice guy!
[Author: Alex Constantinides]