A dance music deity delves into his craft.
Gerald Simpson's career has passed through three distinct sonic stages, and he could have become world-famous for each of them. He is, of course, originally known as one of the UK's first and best acid house producers. Based in Manchester during the halcyon years of its scene in the late '80s, he produced "Voodoo Ray," the defining track of the era, and as part of the group 808 State wrote "Pacific State," another bona fide anthem. Next came the jungle years. In 1991, Simpson set up Juice Box Records and released a string of singles that wound up creating a blueprint for jungle and drum & bass—check a track like 1991's "28 Gun Bad Boy" and the link is immediately clear. After much fame and success in the '90s, the 2000s saw Simpson relocate to Berlin and move into underground circles. Deeper strains of house and techno became his forte, with his music surfacing on labels like Perlon, Bosconi and A Guy Called Gerald Records. The constant in all of his has been Simpson's dedication to craft of production. He still loves spending as much time in the studio as possible, so it was inevitable that this recent conversation with RA's editor Ryan Keeling included plenty of geeking out over gear and technique.