A Guy Called Gerald returns to Berlin’s Laboratory Instinct label with the follow-up to 2006’s Proto Acid: The Berlin Sessions. Tronic Jazz sees him emerge from a couple of years flitting through shadows on labels such as Perlon, Beatstreet and Sender like a peripatetic prophet of the Berlin underground. Where Proto Acid offered a seamless mix of 24 cuts, recorded in one epic session, the 13 tracks here are standalone giving them individual character harking back into his past and looking into the future of acid house and techno.
After so long in the shadows, Tronic Jazz is evidence Gerald is about to return to centre stage.
Tronic Jazz is organic in its nature, mechanical in its sound. These are laid-back grooves, produced with all the finesse you’d expect from a man able to express his moods through sound. On “Nuvo Alfa” a crunchy synth wobbles as sonic droplets fall for a haunting, jacked up ride, Gerald looks back to his acid roots with a gritty offering on “Flutter” while “Just Soul” takes us on a soothing intergalactic journey and he goes minimal in an intelligent way on “Wow Yeah” helped along by a simple but well-placed vocal. “Pacific Samba” harks back to Gerald’s day when he was part of 808 State with the same eloquent synths drifting over a revised sunset beat.
These are all skilfully-crafted slices of mood-filled house and techno with plenty of sheen. At times he seems to get a little lost in his own loops, as the subtle tweaks do not always reach an acute level of engagement he’s aiming for, but after so long in the shadows, Tronic Jazz is evidence Gerald is about to return to centre stage.