A Guy Called Gerald Biography
A Guy Called Gerald’s long awaited album "Essence" will proudly be released through Studio K7 Records on August 28th, 2000 worldwide. This will be his first project since 1995’s groundbreaking "Black Secret Technology." Featuring sleek and sexy production, "Essence" features the songwriting and vocals from guest artists such as David Simpson, Lady Miss Kier, Lamb’s Louise Rhodes, and successful UK songwriter Wendy Page. Merging subtly ambitious elements of drum & bass and dub over immaculate melodies and tones, "Essence" hopes to vitalize the stale nature of drum & bass expanding the songwriting and composition potential of breakbeat music with sleek and soulful production.
In the early 70’s in Manchester, UK a young Gerald Simpson was found alongside his mother at church listening to the organist through which he found inspiration to pursue music. Gospel melodies evolved into an affinity for the Jackson 5, the soul turned into funk, and funk spawned hip hop. Music’s steady mutations and newfound brilliance kept Gerald’s interests keen, and no later could one find Gerald experimenting on an Amstrad twin cassette deck, stripping apart and re-orchestrating pieces of Herbie Hancock’s "Rockit" into minimal, twisted forms. His early forays in production embodied the raw brilliance that would later reflect the ethic of his music.
Gerald Simpson then a member of local band Scratchbeat Masters moved on teaming up with The Hit Squad, who later became the ubiquitous 808 State. As an original member of the proto-techno legends, Gerald was responsible, but not credited until much later, for the production and composition of their groundbreaking first album "Newbuild" which featured the UK techno anthem "Pacific State". While "Pacific State" topped UK charts and 808 State’s profile skyrocketed, Gerald pursued further music mobility working on his solo projects as A Guy Called Gerald. Finding a modern influence through Detroit techno and Chicago house, A Guy Called Gerald produced "Voodoo Ray" storming the UK and worldwide dance charts at the same time his 808 State "Pacific State" track was still in the charts. With two tracks in the charts (only recognized for one), A Guy Called Gerald became an international star and "Voodoo Ray" became the anthem that many identify for launching UK’s acid house movement.
The success of "Voodoo Ray" landed Gerald a solo record deal with Sony/Columbia in 1990 quickly followed by the release of his first LP "Automanik". With success came tension. As Gerald’s success as a pop artist grew, Gerald’s need for artistic license expanded. His label could not keep up with Gerald’s forward thinking music and never released his second album. Relegated back into the underground, Gerald found solace and further explored the emerging breakbeat influenced sounds. In 1993 Gerald, the master, released “28 Gun Bad Boy”, a pioneering album that harnessed the brutal dynamics of drum & bass. As jungle rose in popularity so did Gerald, once again.
In 1995, A Guy Called Gerald released the classic "Black Secret Technology" LP becoming the leading pioneering of UK’s urban sound. "Black Secret Technology" featured vocals from a then unknown Finley Quaye on "Finley’s Rainbow" thus launching Finley’s successful solo career. Gerald’s forward thinking music led to invitations from other artists such as Tricky, The Stone Roses, Goldie, Roy Ayers, Herbie Hancock and most notably David Bowie on collaborations and remixes.
Prominence has never inspired Gerald. Already a legend in each of his various forays, A Guy Called Gerald spent the greater part of the last six years producing his latest album (the last two years in NYC) "Essence," featuring vocal contributions from Lamb’s Louise Rhodes, MC Krusta, singer/songwriter Wendy Page, and Lady Miss Kier. To be released on Studio K7 August 2000, the album “Essence” will also feature singles with remixes from Ian Simmonds, Funkstorung, Ashley Beedle, and others to be confirmed. Starting with cassette decks, Gerald, by choice, has taken the long but well journeyed direction towards musical calm.