A history lesson from uncle G
While many electronic producers and DJs these days are doing the ‘live’ set thing to showcase new tunes, electronic music pioneer, A Guy Called Gerald uses the technology to create a trip through the past of electronic music. A Guy Called Gerald has been in the UK electronic scene for close to 30 years. He’s dabbled in countless sub-genres and even took part in shaping a few of those genres along the way.
He started his late night Saturday set in the Red Marquee taking to the mic. Gerald informed us we were in for a musical journey and he urged us to stick with him to the end. Through the roughly 90 minute set, this godfather of the beat took us from the early days of acid house, hardstyle and techno to more modern, faster, bass heavy tunes.
The novelty of how he did this was that he produced all the sounds on the fly with midi controllers and mixers. Instead of just playing tunes on a laptop or turntables, Gerald created the sounds live. The mix was near flawless with one tune or musical idea flowing seamlessly into the next, it was all one coherent idea. It was one of the longer sets I watched at Fuji Rock and took place at the end of a long, hard, rainy day. Despite how tired I was, the ebb and flow of Gerald’s journey kept myself and most of the Red Marquee crowd fully engaged the whole set through.
From chilled head bobbing and swaying with heavy basslines one moment, the next thing you knew there was hard pounding, pulsating rollers dropping in to energize and move your body. The transitions were completely fluid and natural.The old master has certainly planned this ‘live’ set out well and will soon get it to the point of near perfection. So while A Guy Called Gerald may not be producing modern dance hits like he used to, when it comes to a history lesson on early acid house, break beat, drum and bass, techno and more, I don’t think we could find a better teacher than the wise uncle G.