Since the 80’s, Manchester, UK native A GUY CALLED GERALD, born Gerald Simpson, has proven to be among the most innovative modern music figures. His influence is international, and through his versatility he has spawned genres and generations of music culture. Since his early experimentation with techno and acid house into his groundbreaking contributions to drum & bass music, GCG’s art and craft has perpetually evolved regardless of his individual successes in each of those genres. Five years in the making, Gerald’s forthcoming album "Essence" marks his return to promise.
A GUY CALLED GERALD’s long awaited album "Essence" will proudly be released worldwide through STUD!O K7 Records on August 14th, 2000. 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 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, a young Gerald Simpson was 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. Soon one could 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, 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 underground, Gerald found solace and further explored the emerging breakbeat influenced sounds. In 1993 Gerald, 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. Since then he has remixed or worked with luminaries such as David Bowie or Tricky and is currently working on a project with Herbie Hancock and Bill Laswell.
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, "Essence" featuring vocal contributions from Lamb’s Louise Rhodes, MC Krusta, singer/songwriter Wendy Page, and Lady Kier. The album’s recordings commenced in the former home of Gerald’s in London, however, completion was in his new home in Brooklyn, New York. 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.