Juice Box 1995; JBOX 025CD
Gerald has been a pretty constant feature in my listening since Voodoo Ray, and this is probably his definitive statement, although it’s Voodoo Ray which really does it for me.
I’m not great with the labels people attach to this sort of music – I guess I’m just not cool enough, but I suppose you’d call this Drum N Bass. It’s drum n bass with a difference though – it’s playing while I type and while it uses old technology (of course) it doesn’t sound dated in the way that the contemporaneous and much better known Timeless by Goldie does. It’s full of manipulated vocal samples and complex rhythms, but it always avoids that sense of being beaten around the head that much similar music from the period has. It has a subtlety which is a rare commodity in this genre. It also has clear links to another favourite of mine, Photek who clearly spent far too much time in his bedroom listening to Gerald.
This is the original CD issue of the album and it does have a few quirks. It’s mastered very quietly, so you’ll need to turn the volume up, but more seriously it doesn’t have much bass and the sound overall is rather muddy. There was some debate at the time whether this was intentional, but a recent remaster sounds more conventional, so I guess it was a mistake. I rather like the muddy sound, but if it bothers you, seek out the remaster.