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Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Guy Called Gerald - “In Ya Head”

posted by on September 25 at 16:01 PM

A Guy Called Gerald - 'In Ya Head'

Even those once evangelical for the sound are starting to see minimal electronic as one of dance music’s biggest problems.

The time sure is ripe for someone to barge in and make a mess of things, screwing the sound’s neck around ‘The Exorcist’-like, forcing it to either reorient itself with a fresh start or admit that The Point Of It All has faded forever.

It looked like A Guy Called Gerald was the one to do it.

A legend without debate, Manchester’s A Guy Called Gerald helped usher in the age of acid house in the late ’80s with 808 State and the timeless “Voodoo Ray,” a beautiful arc of music that sampled Peter Cook and remains one of the most pivotal and precise dance singles of our time.

A Guy Called Gerald went on to immerse himself in the hardcore house scene, releasing the first proper jungle album ever made, dabbling with ambient material, and snowballing his live and studio reputation for a decade before trickling out into re-issue obscurity.

Which brings us to “In Ya Head.”

Slipped out a few weeks ago on Germany’s minimal Perlon label (Markus Nikolai, Pantytec, Richard Villalobos), it’s A Guy Called Gerald’s latest return and a straight-ahead attempt at the minimal electronic sound. And it’s actually really not very worth the effort in the first place.

With such a talent behind it, one that has always had an ear for low-key mechanics — even if it’s from someone past his prime — you’d hope more than this long, grey trail of house music smoke.

It’s intangible. Aloof in the wrong way.

Static beats make graph-paper criss-cross patterns with droplets of small metallic clicks, but the whole thing waves away any expectations with a dullness and a lack of drive to shake up the sound.


Total missed opportunity.

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