|A Guy Called Gerald: Tronic Jazz The Berlin Sessions
4th June 2010
|A Guy Called Gerald
Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions
Absorbing this album, the eighth studio effort in the snaking solo career of Gerald Simpson, is liable to take you on a road potholed with kneejerk opinions. Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions is the first A Guy Called Gerald LP since 2006, and a companion piece of sorts to that year's Proto Acid: The Berlin Sessions – Simpson isn't the first techno auteur to be drawn to the titular city's reclaimed office space and raves which finish near midday, nor will he be the last. So has a dude whose early(ish) career saw him plant at least three flags in the virgin sand of tangential genres accepted that he's now a follower, not a leader, and looked to the Germans to point him towards wherever electronic music's Mecca currently floats?
Yeah. But no. But . . . put it this way: this isn't a minimal record. You could credibly describe it as minimalist, though – not as in Steve Reich or whoever; rather, in the way Simpson works within self-imposed limits and with only the necessary equipment to create something which, in most respects, could have been plucked from that open-ended idyll of the late 80s when house was blurring into techno and no-one really knew which was which. Isn't this a bit of a shame coming from a dude who changed British rave's game up when he frisbeed 'Voodoo Ray' into its novelty-bedecked waters; who released a jungle album (28 Gun Bad Boy) in 1992 before any of the heads commonly deemed to have birthed jungle got their shit together to that extent; who unleashed '95's ripping and giant-brained Black Secret Technology and made the results of jungle's deviation into drum'n'bass seem, for a second, a lot less variable than they were?
It is. If you're a tireless neophyte. In which case you probably won't be satisfied with anything except a can't-see-the-join blend of UK funky and witch house with a bunch of chopped-up samples of Adam Boulton reporting on the election. The rest of us can appreciate that this is a skilfully constructed and weirdly emotionally resonant album that breaks no new ground but tips its hat to classic Detroit techno moves: the three little pigs Saunderson, Atkins and Craig are hard to look past here, although you could probably invoke Blake Baxter when Simpson eschews the wistfulness and goes for the jugular, and Daniel Bell in the disc's moments of pared-back a melodic clunk. To this end he does come within tickling distance of minimal on the odd track – 'Flutter' and the bubbling 'Round Eco' to name two.
Although I'm sad to have to tell you that I'm the last person that can drop any technical knowledge about how electronic music is put together, I'm nonetheless compelled to note that from opener 'People Moover' (Gerald's spelling) onwards, the drums on this sound tremendous. The devil is in the detail, which is in the way they sound teasingly imperfect – over-reverbed or excessively wooden, compared with what we've come to expect from years of chrome-shiny club techno and, yes, Berlin minimal tackle. So this is some sort of techno equivalent of yer old folkies with the KEEP MUSIC LIVE stickers on their acoustics, hmm?
[Reviewer: Noel Gardner]
|A GUY CALLED GERALD Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions
LABORATORY INSTINCT **** (4 stars out of 5)
Voodoo Ray inventor goes back to the phuture
Manc club legend Gerald Simpson began revisiting and reinventing his analog past in 2006 with Proto Acid. This loose sequel also relies heavily on vivid vintage acid sounds, drenching stand-out tracks like "Wow Yheah" in squelchy Roland 303 basslines and chattering Roland 808 rhythms. Overlooking a couple of overly tasteful chill-outs and the superfluous techno samba remake of Simpson's classic 808 State collaboration "Pacific State", there is bold and original material here, especially the moody metallic robo-dub of "The Dip".
[Reviewer: Stephen Dalton]
|A Guy Called Gerald Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions
Laboratory Instinct LI 017 CD **** (4 stars out of 5)
Gerald explores roots and makes his masterpiece
Techno constantly gets pulled about, rebranded and, right now, stripped to its bare circuits in the name of minimalism. The Detroit originators mated Kraftwerk with P-Funk to make a new strain of electronic dance music, channelling their emotions and futuristic visions through analogue machines, inspiring like-minded producers to chart their individual sonic trajectories.
Manchester's A Guy Called Gerald has been exploring the infinite possibilities of pure machine music since napalming the Haçienda with Voodoo Ray in 1988, forging drum'n'bass templates in the 90s and returning to analogue techno roots with 2006's Proto Acid: The Berlin Sessions. Since then he's popped up on Berlin underground labels such as Perlon, but now returns to Laboratory Instinct for his most consummate work to date.
Through 13 often breathtaking excursions which beautifully expand and embroider the classic techno blueprint, Gerald plunges his creative soul into the machines, often finding the perfect beat while recalling the simple beauty of early Chicago house in the swirling People Moover, shimmering deep house on Just Soul and uncurling Detroit-style cloudbursts over Iland's resonant shuffle. There's even a luxurious new treatment of old muckers 808 State's Pacific State (retitled Pacific Samba): a cool nod to Manchester roots and just one highlight of this decade's first major electronic milestone.
[Reviewer: Kris Needs]
|A GUY CALLED GERALD
Tronic Jazz The Berlin Sessions
LABORATORY INSTINCT CD/DOWNLOAD
OUT 10 MAY *** (3 stars out of 5)
Enduring Manchester rave veteran turns back clock
One of the first stars of the acid house scene, in the '90s Gerald Simpson turned his attention to drum'n'bass, crafting one of the scene's few classic albums, Black Secret Technology. He's since remained an elusive presence, only rediscovering his mojo with a move to Berlin. This collection has a retrospective mood, opener People Moover drawing on the ticking hi-hats and translucent synth washes of techno, Wow Yeah referencing Chicago acid tracks and Pacific Samba revisiting Pacific State, the 1989 classic Simpson produced while still a member of 808 State.
DOWNLOAD: People Moover// Wow Yeah // Pacific Samba
[Reviewer: Rupert Howe]
| A Guy Called Gerald
Tronic Jazz The Berlin Sessions
*** (3 stars out of 5)
A Guy Called Gerald's maintained a career in the transient world of dance music through constant innovation. Latterly, some 22 years after Voodoo Ray, Gerald has returned to techno, albeit of the lush, Detroit genus. Most notable here is Pacific Samba, a fantasia on a classic theme from his old Manc muckers 808 State.
[Reviewer: Stephen Worthy]
| A GUY CALLED GERALD
Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions
After making some of the most innovative hardcore/jungle records ever, then diverting into trip-hop, Mancunian-in-Berlin Gerald Simpson has returned to where his career began: pure techno and acid house. And damn, he does it well. The spirit of his acid-era classics 'Voodoo Ray' and 'Emotions Electric' run through these tracks, with bubbling analogue synths that tickle and caress body and brain alike, and a deep-rooted sense of groove that looks back further still to early 80s B-boy electro. It might be retro in theory, but the execution is impeccable, and on any strobe-lit techno dancefloor these sound utterly timeless.
File under: Techno masterclass.
**** (4 stars out of 5)
[Reviewer: JOE MUGGS]
| A GUY CALLED GERALD TRONIC JAZZ: THE BERLIN SESSIONS
Laboratory Instincts (UK/Ger)
22 years in the game and still going strong, Gerald Simpson's umpteenth studio album sees him developing some of the more experimental doodles of his last LP into fuller, more dancefloor orientated directions. Despite the title, the major influences mainly spring from the Detroit-Manchester nexus that's been Simpson's stock-in-trade since his 808 State days, with tracks like 'People Moover' and Just Soul' layering elegiac pads over sparse yet-resonant drum programming. It's not all wistful tech-soul, though, as evidenced by the darker, crunchier vibes of 'Dirty Trix' and the charming schaffel swing of 'Merfed' Proving that he's as comfortable with slick, contemporary business as he is throwing in the occasional old-school slammer, 'Tronic Jazz' is a solid, smart and occasionally stunning effort.
[Reviewer: Lee Smith]
| Album Review :: Tronic Jazz – The Berlin Sessions by A Guy Called Gerald
A name many will always associate with the classic era of house circa 1988, and a certain track entitled "Voodoo Ray," not to mention its incredible remix which came some time later. However, A Guy Called Gerald has not only stood the test of time, coming through what became a hidden underground genre, he's expanded on his own creative spectrum. While others have dissented from the more traditional flavour, he continues to emerge with an independent twist on the classic techno house driven beats that created the original driving force of electronic overspill.
The ingredients that define this latest offering are its ultra tight mixture of sonic creativity, transposed as fresh ideas and wrapped in waves of swirling sounds, while the red hot irons remain immersed in the cold waters that first flowed from the late '80s, maintaining a temperature that's just right. Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions communicates it all so well, drawing on the most impressionable, and consolidating it all into something that's fresh and likeable.
"People Moover" creates a shimmering trance like picture with its seductive introduction, a sparkling and spritely treasure trove of activity set against a backdrop of metallic shimmer. The dominant beats of "Nuvo Alfa" provide a repetitive pulse to fuel the positive trail of dance – injections of string like sounds spookily creeping in before the electronic heart of the track darts effortlessly from one way point to the next, its gentle siren calls on acidic brightness. The vibrant pulses of "Lland" marks it as historic sounding and collectible; its gentle breeze of metallic timbre lies set between its simple beat structure. Carrying a futuristic voiceover is "Just Soul," with yet more beats and clasps to give an infusion of personality. The sparkle of classic house is a big feature with the mysterious, evocative and vintage "The Dip." Yearning to reach out with its edgy yet mellow and soothing vibes. It stretches further with each layer of differing pitch and strength, added in rich waves and sharp dashes. "Round Eco" is almost a ghostly voice; a strange being creating a moist tunnel of sound which is sharp and prominent. The tropical "Dirty Trix" features yet more dark voicings, with an emptiness that prevails deeper into a beat driven intricate variance. "Indi Vibe" is simple, yet has an innovative approach as it brushes with the classic feel that is so synonymous with the roots of this genre. It edges by with gentle tinks, a strong driving beat, plus clasps of activity before the hook comes in, making it very vintage, crazily catchy and decidedly dance like. A archetypal showpiece, displaying daring movement and a catchy bass with essential groove. "Pacific Samba," is a wild, exotic and expressive track, showing no real cold side, but a beat symphony of percussion until its temperature finally lowers to reveal a cool afterglow of enlightening embers.
It's hard to misplace the brilliance that is A Guy Called Gerald; a unique pioneer of the classic sounds of analogue house with intricately sited and paced percussion. Evidently, A Guy Called Gerald continues to pave his way along a route which dates back to the novelty and simplicity of the underground sound; one which has grown in such a way it enables the Berlin Sessions to define its own genius.
The Berlin Sessions is a credible and worthy take on a tradition that'll be held close to the hearts of those who continue to seek the original systems of dance.
Originally published in Igloo Magazine, California, United States
[Reviewer: Jus Forrest]
|A GUY CALLED GERALD TRONIC JAZZ,
THE BERLIN SESSIONS
Gerald Simpson's ambient techno and dusky house polygons project visuals of karmic, kaleidoscopic landscapes and ravers fascinated with their own hand movements. Simpson bends his sound patterns to achieve fortitude through numerous steely shivers and acid grumbler 'Wow Yeah', without the track's disapproving glares being passed onto listeners. A little sexiness on the deep 'Iland' lives alongside robots going about their day-to-day on 'The Dip' and 'Round Eco', processing the kind of logarithmic wobble 'Voodoo Ray' dispersed way back. Technical without being over-processed or undercooked, Simpson's ESP is as bright as ever.
[Reviewer: MATT OLIVER]
11th May 2010
| A Guy Called Gerald: Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions
Available on: Laboratory Instinct LP
Considering techno (and electronic music in general)'s obsession with the new and especially the futuristic, it's bewildering to realize how backward-looking it really is, occasionally amounting to sheer idolatry in terms of reverence for its heroes. Perhaps even more surprising is how long these "heroes" keep going, redefining themselves time and time again and some even staying on top of the field; check impressive new LPs this year from Thomas Fehlmann and Robert Hood for proof. Gerald Simpson is undoubtedly one of these heroes, helping to define Acid House with 808 State and his own 'Voodoo Ray', and in the early nineties helping to establish jungle as a proper musical force with landmark LPs 28 Gun Bad Boy and Black Secret Technology, burying himself in the new sound and getting lost in its frenetic breakbeats. Since the triumph of Technology (recently re-issued to warm welcome), Simpson has been a bit unpredictable, releasing a vocal LP in Essence before suddenly diving straight back into analogue techno with 2006's odd Proto Acid: The Berlin Sessions. Tronic Jazz is his first LP since, released with the same "Berlin Sessions" subtitle, and it's a little confounding.
You don't have to look very hard to find Simpson talking about his music and his move back into techno; a desire for alternate reality dance music untouched by nineties musical history and the advent of all-digital production. The concept is a fascinating mix of reverent nostalgia and that same unbridled, uncompromising futurism, but the result is strangely tepid. It's pretty, it's well-executed, but in the end it's just kind of boring. I can't help going back to a simple comment made by a colleague in reference to the album: "it's solid, you know, but it doesn't feel vital." I can't really sum it up better than that; what we've got here is a decent LP full of functional techno cuts, but with all their edges sanded off and all their textures blunted into a blurred, soft-focused blob. The tracks float by pleasantly, staying within the same relaxed tempo bracket; if nothing else, this is an album you can put on in the background and enjoy. "Coffee house" techno then. Even the relatively aggressive tracks like 'Indi Vibe', 'Flutter' and 'Wow Yheah' won't make too much of an impact on their surroundings.
It's in those slightly more lively tracks where the album's beating heart resides, too faint and gentle to even detect elsewhere. 'Flutter' is probably the LP's best moment, combining high-frequency squeaks and bleeps with a dank, cycling bass riff – vintage stuff with a modern touch. 'Indi Vibe' recalls the driving energy of Gerald's past acid house work, later directly referenced by 'Pacific Samba', a gorgeous house track decorated with little bits of glitter and confetti. Honestly, it's more fan service than anything else, pretty but not substantive, while the vintage-sounding string epic 'Conclusion F Min' is similarly airy and thin. The "vitality" problem rears its head several times, despite these more rousing moments: 'Iland' is jazzy and breezy to the point of tedium, the dull grey of 'Wow Yheah' is interrupted by lifeless vocal samples, and tracks like opener 'People Moover' are merely average: hardly memorable and barely getting off the ground.
Tronic Jazz is a frustrating album from an often frustrating artist, one with a remarkable vision and the means to almost pull it all off. It's hard to say exactly what's missing here, but with all due respect (and there's a lot due) Gerald fails to rise above his peers with this release, releasing a mostly unremarkable LP at a time when older producers need to fight with their lives to stay relevant. Diehard fans of Gerald will find much here to make them feel at home, and it will at least pique the interest of analogue fetishists and those stuck in the past, or an idealized idea of the past. Simpson may be a one-of-a-kind producer, and his work still demands attention, but it's reaching the point where he can't keep that attention for longer than a few minutes.
3.5 stars out of 5
[Reviewer: Andrew Ryce]
4th May 2010
|A Guy Called Gerald Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions Review
Album. Released 10 May 2010.
"Simpson again takes on the visionary mantle he's become so comfortable with."
Gerald Simpson has often found himself poised over pivotal moments in electronic music.
With his seminal Voodoo Ray, he fired a sonic mortar into the mix of acid house, creating sounds that felt genuinely British in a scene largely awash with imported music from Detroit and Chicago. Then, in 1992, he sketched out the blueprint for drum'n'bass by smashing together the particles of hardcore, jungle and techno with his third album, the acclaimed 28 Gun Bad Boy. True to form he now lives in Berlin, once more the epicentre of European electronic music, perhaps even more influential now than it was in the early 90s when its hallowed clubs E-Werk and Tresor provided a pummelling industrial soundtrack, the influence of which echoed around the world.
Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions follows Proto Acid: The Berlin Sessions, released in 2006. But while, as the title might suggest, Gerald rekindled his love of acidic basslines on the former, the latter is an altogether smoother proposition, substituting the abrasive bleeps and trance-inducing arpeggios for suites of warm synths, littered throughout with knowing nods to his numerous past incarnations. The aptly-named People Moover starts ominously in a haunting minor key (and with an equally haunting church bell), before bursting into synths so soaked in Balearic sunshine they light the room. Both Flutter and Just Soul hint at his dalliances in drum'n'bass, all moody, brooding basslines, the latter echoing with voices from a distant radio broadcast. Iland points respectfully to Detroit, its vintage, layered drum patterns coupled with a mechanical coolness, a style seen too in the throbbing Round Eco, the keyboard sounds cold, icy. Wow Yheah is the sound of acid melded with deep, shuffling beats, and Pacific Samba is brilliantly playful, a stripped down re-imagining of Pacific State, a track credited to 808 State but which Simpson had an equal hand in writing while briefly a member of the band.
So part retrospective, part future-facing techno document, with Tronic Jazz Simpson again takes on the visionary mantle with which he has become so quietly comfortable over the past 20 years.
[Reviewer: Ben Arnold]
|A GUY CALLED GERALD
TRONIC JAZZ - THE BERLIN SESSIONS
CAT NUMBER: LI017CD
RELEASE DATE: 17 May '10
Gerald returns to Berlin's Laboratory Instinct label with the follow-up to 2006's "Proto Acid - The Berlin Sessions". "Tronic Jazz - The Berlin Sessions" builds upon the foundation established by its predecessor to create an even more powerful statement of intent, one that communicates more persuasively than ever Gerald's vision for techno. Where "Proto Acid" offered a seamless mix of 24 cuts, recorded in one epic session, "Tronic Jazz" collects 13 stand-alone tracks. Free from the flow of the mix, the tracks go deeper into themselves, even while contributing to the overall shape of the album as a single, coherent form. Nothing overstays its welcome: Gerald is a master of concision, and he manages to express everything he needs in five-minute chunks - inside which time stands still, arrested by the interplay of deftly programmed machine rhythms, carefully arranged chord progressions, and a masterfully intuitive sense of sound design. As 'classic' as "Tronic Jazz" may be, the album refutes any notion that 'classic' equals 'retro', that the ideas have all been expressed before. "Tronic Jazz" takes the foundations of house and techno as though they were a kind of language, and speaks volumes with them.
01. People Moover
|A GUY CALLED GERALD - Tronic Jazz The Berlin Sessions
TECHNO / HOUSE
Released: May 2010
Catalogue Number: LI017CD
From his current base in Berlin, AGCG clears a path to the floor with his follow-up to 2006's 'Proto Acid' sessions. Since that album we've only caught glimpses of Gerald in action on a string of effective but low-key house and techno tracks for Perlon, Beatstreet and Sender, but they were obviously masking what was really going on in the lab. 'Tronic Jazz' is a far deeper affair than those tracky cuts, featuring Hulme's finest stretching out on 13 intuitively fluid, masterfully progressive and deep searching compositions. The Berlin influence inferred by the title relates to the skilled definition of his grooves and their deft constructions, but as it's an AGCG album these tracks are brimming with soul and a proper dancer's sense of style and arrangement with a heavy emphasis on analog sounds. From the aquatic jazz-techno flow of 'People Moover' to the juxtaposition of serene Detroit strings and brittle percussion of 'Just Soul', the piquant percolations of 'Round Eco' and the beautifully playful revision of 808 State's 'Pacific Samba', it's fair to say we've caught our man in brilliantly mature and elegant form. We can't think of many artists from that original '88 skool who still manage to sound fresh and unique nowadays so it's hats off to the man!
| A Guy Called Gerald
Tropic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions
Laboratory Instinct CD
Having lost his way in the late 1990s, following sterling work as an Acid and then drum 'n' bass innovator, A Guy Called Gerald has spent the last few years going back to his analogue roots, luxuriating in past styles with a view to developing that which was too soon discarded for the sake of innovation and forward momentum. The result on these sessions is a series of unfamiliar takes on the familiar, be it the weird speech balloon phrases emanating from the Old School syndrums of "People Moover", or "Iland", which resounds as if on a dancefloor long abandoned, its lights having long gone out.
[Reviewer: David Stubbs]
|A Guy Called Gerald Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions
A Guy Called Gerald (aka Gerald Simpson) follows up his 2006 venture Proto Acid: The Berlin Sessions to hopefully re-establish his reputation amidst the Acid Techno scene, although this time offering standalone cuts rather than a seamless mix.
Simpson's machines tick along mechanically throughout, albeit at variable tempos, but the programming is anything but impromptu – the sounds are too carefully placed, with avidly syncopated chord progressions. Meanwhile, the 13 tracks are fairly minimalist, with the devil in the detail – an art in itself, but far from spontaneous.
It would be cruel to say Tronic Jazz is bog standard Techno – not to mention untrue – but neither does it break new ground. Pacific Samba provides evidence of Simpson's drift, however, deriving from 808 State's memorable Pacific State, which Simpson claimed to have wrote, its smoky ethereal samples and warm ambient synths punch emotion into the album like no other.
Otherwise, Simpson delivers what you might expect from such a consummately experienced DJ and producer – but above that, Tronic Jazz sounds a little flat, uninspired and subjugated by Techno's illustrious history.
ADD THESE TO YOUR PLAYLIST
Pacific Samba, People Mover
[Reviewer: Danny Turner]
|Beats and Beyond
|A Guy Called Gerald - Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions
A Guy Called Gerald is one of those recognized leaders in the field of techno, house and acid with a two decade career. In 2006, Gerald delivered the outstanding Proto Acid. Now, four years later, Gerald takes us on a trip to Chicago and Detroit with Tronic Jazz.
A Guy Called Gerald is without any doubt one of the biggest influencers in the global acid scene. Across two decades. the man behind the legendary Voodoo Ray EP (1988) has proven to be one of the most talented musicians in the field of house, techno, and acid, while frequently incorporating bits of jazz on the side. After a handful releases on Perlon, Beatstreet and Sender, Gerald Simpson now returns with a brand new artist album on which analogue drum machines and synthesizers lead the way. Bring it on.
The album as a whole reflects twenty years of experience, passion and feel for the sound of Detroit techno and Chicago house. Made up entirely with analogue machines, the compilation sounds both vintage as futuristic, due to the breathtaking mastering and clear crisp sounds. Each track is an organic flow of cymbals, rattling hi-hats, deep beats and carefully placed synths, and although each one of them uses more or less the same elements, no track sounds the same. Au contraire. The album in its entirely is a balanced, magnificently crafted tour de force, on which Gerald continues to push the envelope. Take Iland for instance. This punchy Detroit track builds up with great tension, then unleashes with a series of massive bassline, beautiful keys and jacking percussion. Or the fuzzy Nuovo Alfa, an incredibly rhythmic and fierce techno song with a simple yet highly effective synth line. One of the most complex songs is the bit-riddled Dirty Trix, a dark and moody techno tune with pumping kicks and several layers of raw melodies. But honestly, each track on this brilliant album is an absolute slammer.
If you're looking for a quality piece of house and techno Detroit/Chicago-style, be sure to pick this one. There aren't that many decent albums to be found in the genre these days (except for the oldies), but Gerald has delivered a one-of-a-kind gem that not only reflects the man amazing skills, but also provides an intriguing overview of twenty years of house and techno. An album to play over and over again.
Label: Laboratory Instinct
1. People Moover
[Reviewer: The B&B Crew]
5th April 2010
|Review: A Guy Called Gerald – Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions
Label: Laboratory Instinct
01. People Moover
As the album title states, this latest output from A Guy Called Gerald fills up the more intellectual spectrum – a true spirit and a refreshing and original take on techno and surrounding sounds.
The most inspiring factor of this release, is that while maintaining an original sound, Gerald manages to shine through with the inspiration and energy that in common practice is more or less absent in straight up CD releases. Where a musical taste lifts every track into a new level, Gerald displays a knowledge not only sonically bound, but also knowing his way around the equipment he uses in a very solid way – the result is a combination of both perception and craftsmanship.
The mysterious and labyrinth-sense of every track makes it feel diverse and fun – rather than a straight up proper techno LP, which would seem only a bit strange if that was the case, Tronic Jazz feels strongly related to old tradition and style within the genre, rather than current explorations.
'Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions' is due in early May.
Thanks to Jonas at EPM for this release.
|A Guy Called Gerald
'Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions'
Techno constantly gets pulled about, rebranded and, right now, stripped to its bare circuits in the name of minimal. The Detroit originators mated Kraftwerk with P-Funk to make a new strain of electronic dance music, channelling their emotions and futuristic visions through analogue machines, inspiring likeminded producers to chart their individual sonic trajectories. A Guy Called Gerald has been exploring the infinite possibilities of pure machine music since napalming the Hacienda with 'Voodoo Ray' in 1988, forging drum 'n' bass templates in the 90s, returning to analogue techno roots with 2006's Proto Acid: The Berlin Sessions. Since then he's popped up on Berlin underground labels like Perlon, but now returns to Laboratory Instinct for his most consummate work to date. Through thirteen often breath-taking excursions which beautifully expand and embroider the classic techno blueprint, Gerald plunges his creative soul into the machines, often finding the perfect beat while recalling the simple beauty of early Chicago house in the swirling 'People Moover', shimmering deep house on 'Just Soul' and uncurling Detroit-style cloudbursts over 'Iland's resonant shuffle. There's even a luxurious new treatment of old muckers 808 State's 'Pacific State' [now titled 'Pacific Samba']: a cool nod to Manchester roots which is just one highlight of this decade's first major electronic milestone.
5 out of 5
[Reviewer: Kris Needs]