References: A Guy Called Gerald & Graham Massey, Manchester/Berlin
Anyone who is familiar with the history of UK dance music will know of the long and creative careers of A Guy Called Gerald and Graham Massey.
Both were involved in taking underground club music into the charts and onto the global stage for the first time in the late 1980s. “Our initial enthusiasm for Acid House was about setting up as many machines as possible and taking them as far out as you could”. New sounds from Detroit and Chicago had begun filtering into Manchester's import record shops when, inspired, A Guy called Gerald began rigging analogue and drum machines up together making his own formations. His first creative efforts were in The Hit Squad, a Manchester hip hop collective. They released the single Wax On The Melt before three of the members, Gerald, Graham Massey and Martin Price formed 808 State. It was a brief collaboration resulting in one album ‘Newbuild’ and their biggest hit Pacific State. But by then, Gerald had already gone solo, having unwillingly scored a chart hit with the seminal classic Voodoo Ray, the track to put British House music firmly on the map.
‘Newbuild’ was overshadowed by a rush of pioneering and more exposed albums and singles by all concerned. Then in 1999, ‘Newbuild’ was lovingly re-released by Aphex Twin’s Rephlex Records as a triple vinyl pressing. Followed shortly by a further collection of 808 Acid called ‘Prebuild’. It was around this time that Graham & Gerald got together for a one-off revisit of the old techniques and equipment.
And now there is “REBUILD”: almost completely improvised, it’s about surprising each other, a cross between a 3-legged race and a chess game”.