YouTube Sessions: A Guy Called Gerald

Stepping up for the next instalment of YouTube Sessions is a bona fide legend of the electronic scene. Gerald Simpson aka A Guy Called Gerald began his musical journey in Manchester in the late 80s, pioneering the fledgling acid house scene alongside Graham Massey and Martin Price as 808 State, and with seminal solo releases such as ‘Voodoo Ray’. His own label Juice Box was equally influential in pushing the emergent sound of jungle, notably the ’28 Gun Bad Boy’ LP. Simon Reynolds remarked that “if there was a blueprint for what would transform rave into jungle/techno, then this is it.” Today Gerald’s legacy remains as relevant to house, techno and jungle as ever – now based in Berlin, he continues to make music and perform around the world, with his Rebuild Live Acid Jam project alongside Massey debuting this summer.

This Friday April 19th, Gerald will be performing live at Soltek, at Lightbox in London, alongside an impressive lineup of house and techno talent, including Glaswegian producer Milton Jackson and Planet E and Hotflush alumnus Glimpse. Click here for full hype and ticket info.

Ahead of the show, Gerald has delved into the deepest recesses of YouTube and given us a selection of his memorable musical and dance moments. As you would expect the emphasis is heavily old skool, with classic hip-hop and Roland hardware a plenty.

Return to Forever – Sorceress 1976

“This is what Electronic music sounded like in the 70s. It was a fusion of jazz and rock. In fact, a lot of music wouldn’t have existed without the use of electronic instruments or equipment.”

Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force – Planet Rock

“Listening and dancing to this kind of music was where I got some of my first influence to make dance music.”

USA Doug E Fresh Biz Markie – 1983

“This bloke was the original beatbox. It was part of the whole hip-hop movement in the 80s and was one of the things he gave young people at the time, as far as I could see, was a spirit of “do it yourself”.”

Criminal Minded – Boogie Down Productions

“More early hip hop. They used electronics and rhyme to create entertainment.”

MC Shan – The Bridge

“KRS One was from the Bronx and MC Shan was from Queens. They used to rap against each other and this was the rap against KRS One.”

The Bridge Is Over – Boogie Down Productions

“And here’s the response.”

KRS One & MC Shan Interview

“And here they are making friends.”

New School Power Moves

“These moves were invented by people who were dancing to hip-hop and electrofunk. Can someone tell me where I can find videos online showing people dancing to electrofunk or hip hop? It seems to me that things have been shifted and distorted over the years. Battle dancing is supposed to have battle music.”

Grandmaster Flash – Wildstyle

“Ok, this guy is not beatmatching and does not have to give a fuck about BPMs. He is basically chiselling what he wants out of what he’s got – rude boy style.”

How to Program a TB-303


The Shape Of Things That Hum

“A documentary on the 808 drum machine.”

TR-707 & TR-727

“Roland drum machines.”

Building Techno & House

“I just wanted this on here because it has a 909 on it.”

Jupiter 8 by Howard Jones

“This machine was one of the best machines Roland made at the time. The sounds are absolutely amazing and one of my favourite instruments.”