Gerald Rydel Simpson (born 16 February 1967, Moss Side, Manchester, England), better known as A Guy Called Gerald, is a British musician, record producer and DJ. He is best known for his early work in the Manchester acid house scene in the late 1980s and the track "Voodoo Ray". At that time, he specialised in techno music produced using equipment such as the Roland TB-303 bass synthesiser and the TR-808 drum machine.
Early influences and music Simpson was influenced by his Jamaican roots; his father's blue beat, ska and Trojan reggae record collection, his mother's Pentecostal church sessions and the Jamaican sound system parties in Manchester's Moss Side area where he grew up.
He absorbed jazz fusion at clubs such as Legends in Manchester, where the dancefloor in the early 1980s inspired him to study contemporary dance. Around 1983 with electro booming and early hip hop, breakdancing and b-boy culture making its way from the US, he left dance college to immerse himself in electronic music. At this time music from Detroit and Chicago – from producers such as Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson was being played by Stu Allen on Piccadilly Radio and imported directly into Manchester's specialist record shops.
Inspired, Simpson began experimenting with tape editing and drum machines and the regular jams in the attic of his house led to forming the Scratchbeat Masters. Using cut up beats, samples and turntables they would challenge other bands and their sound systems. They released a 12" single called "Wax On The Melt", a collaboration between a number of crews and Graham Massey and Martin Price together with whom he would later form 808 State. Their first album, Newbuild, was released in 1988, but he soon left the group to concentrate on his solo work.