A Guy Called Gerald set for Glasgow date at Animal Farm
Pioneering Manchester producer's show is live performance of back catalogue
For a man who’s had a two-and-a-half decade career in electronic music, including some definitive mid-90s work on the UK jungle and drum & bass scene, Gerald Simpson will be forever known for the fruits of a very brief moment in his career. It was during acid house’s year zero in 1988 that the Mancunian DJ and producer’s enduring anthem ‘Voodoo Ray’ exploded off the Hacienda’s dancefloor and across the UK.
‘I’m proud of ‘Voodoo Ray’,’ he says, on the line from his home in Berlin, ‘and I know it’s a reminder of the good old days for a lot of people. But it’s annoying in a way, because at the time it was something new and completely different, and that’s how I feel about electronic dance music. It should always be pushing on and doing something new. The past should only be a reference. But attention for a lot of the work I’ve done since then has been blocked by ‘Voodoo Ray’.’
On the other hand, such warm feeling for the track more than two decades on does allow him to continue playing high-profile sets like this, an almost entirely live performance of much of his back catalogue. Simpson describes the virtues of this approach with a producer’s enthusiasm and a wariness of the flat tones of much of today’s commercial electronic music. How could he have ensured his legacy endured further? ‘What I should have been doing was selling out as soon as I got in the charts,’ he laughs, ‘like all the people who started underground and then ended up producing Madonna or whoever.’ Fortunately, he managed to resist.
Animal Farm at the Sub Club, Glasgow, Mon 27 Dec.