Monday, 14 February 2011

59: A Guy Called Gerald, “Voodoo Ray” (no.12, 1989)

A Guy Called Gerald was a 21-year-old from Moss Side called Gerald Simpson, who would have a hand in forming Madchester ravers 808 State before retreating to his bedroom studio to come up with this era-defining dancefloor masterclass. “Voodoo Ray” was what happened when an intuitive DJing talent took the breaks and beats being imported into Manchester’s record shops from the then-ascendant Chicago house scene and adapted them for his own ends; creating, in this case, the warped, woozy rhythms of what was soon to become Tory-troubling cultural phenomenon acid house. Gobsmacking (but true) trivia: the vocal samples were taken from the first Derek and Clive album - it’s Peter Cook declaring “voodoo rage [sic]”, and it’s Dudley Moore who does the “LATER!” bit. Overheard in too many dodgy turn-of-the-century cor-blimey-knees-up British gangster movies as shorthand for “club culture”, but this remains, by anybody’s standards, a landmark dance record.

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