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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
A Guy Called Gerald
To All Things What They Need
!K7 Records

Rating: 8.5/10 ?

January 25, 2005
Gerald Simpson's new album, To All Things What They Need, takes several steps away from the drum and bass/jungle he's become known for in recent years in favor of a mid-tempo and decidedly chilled out direction - one that actually has more in common with the house music with which he began his career.

This is a fine record from this former 808 State member, and one that has little to do with the IDM and glitched-out electronic music that is so prevalent these days. Simpson is from the old school of dance music and his craft reflects that - although wallowing in the past is definitely not something he can be accused of.

There is a dark and tense undercurrent running though his music, perhaps a cue taken from his innovative work in jungle. As heard in the electro beat infused "Meaning" and the tightly wound acid-bass of "Tajeen," the satisfyingly sinister edginess of dance music can still rock bodies and minds all at once without employing cut-and-paste vocal freak-outs or stutter-step beats.

To All Things owes much to the ambient wave of electronic music from the mid-90s as well. The opener, "American Cars," is a warm wash of tinkering ethereal ambience, followed by the excellent and lightly paced house of "To Love." Guest vocalists input their data into Simpson's formula as well: Poet and recording artist Ursula Rucker phones in her usual stop-and-start stylized wording over the low-key jazz swing of "Millennium Sanhedrin" and Finley Quaye (who has collaborated with A Guy Called Gerald before as well as Tricky), slinks more than sings his way through the up-tempo down-tempo of "Strangest Changes."

The record rounds out with a couple of varieties of house music, and one can almost feel a joy in the programming as Simpson brings in a synth hit here, a snaking bass line there. A Guy Called Gerald's latest effort is both throwback and glance forward as this experienced e-music artist proves he is still on top of his game.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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