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A Guy Called Gerald: How Long Is Now (Bosconi)

A Guy Called Gerald has been in the techno game for a long time now (well over 25 years), and I liken his career trajectory to that of his contemporary Baby Ford. Both started off on the vanguard of acid house in the mid to late 80s and progressively have distilled their sounds into something more lean and streamlined, pushing to the hilt of minimal techno after the turn of the century. (Gerald went through a breakbeat/drum & bass phase as well in the 90s.) This recent one on Bosconi is no exception, consisting of three highly repetitive beaty tracks. The title cut is probably my favorite, with its syncopated bongos and toms that nod toward house and disco while the rest of the mix is quite lean and decidedly techno. Dubby synth delays, syncopated high-end details and a fat low-end bass synth tie it all together in a typically disciplined manner. “Groove of the Ghetto” has a wailing diva vocal in the distance that again nods toward house music despite the more rough & tumble nature of the production. It’s a little dirtier than the first cut, with an emphasis on its fuzzy bass stabs and a tinge of darkness. As for the remaining track, I’m unsure if “202” refers to the DC area code or the Roland hardware device (maybe both? neither?) but it nicely reverts back into the cleaner sound of the first cut, with more of a focus on tightly crafted beatmaking and ascending synth sequences. The contrast in polish of the three cuts (with the rudest one sandwiched in the middle) makes it a nicely flowing EP, another feather in Gerald’s cap.

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