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Proto Acid/The Berlin Sessions

LI 011CD LI 011CD

Britain's A Guy Called Gerald (Gerald Simpson) made his Laboratory Instinct debut with a "drop-tech infusion" mix of Dell & Flügel's "Superstructure" that appeared on the duo's Study For A Skyscraper EP. Now the acid house pioneer and drum'n'bass legend issues his own superb full-length Laboratory Instinct, appropriately-titled Proto Acid The Berlin Sessions. Having literally influenced generations of music-makers with an incredible discography that's grown incrementally deeper since the '80s, the Manchester UK native and now Berlin resident executes the infectious 71-minute jam with a masterful meticulousness. Drenching Detroit-styled techno in sparkling electro, the set, recorded live in one session using two laptops and a DJ mixer at Gerald's Diehold Studio on February 11th, 2006, flows with a relaxed ease. With one exception ("Auto Rebuild," the third track, is a remake of 1990's "Automannik"), the album's 24 raw, club-oriented tracks are all new. Asked to describe the album's sound, Simpson says, "To me it's proto acid; it's how I feel house/techno music would have sounded if the whole rave thing hadn't happened in England ... This stuff has direct lineage to Chicago and Detroit in the mid-to-late '80s." Don't think that, for Simpson, acid's definition is limited to something as obvious as the 303 either. On the disc itself, Simpson doesn't waste a moment but immediately invigorates the set with the pumping tribal groove of "Marching Powder" before moving on to the steely funk-throb of "The Strip." The mix's strutting electro strain makes its first appearance in "Auto Rebuild" and dominates thereafter, though its presence is subtly modulated from one cut to the next, at one moment oozing a house vibe and the next techno. While differences distinguish one track from the next (though Simpson avows that his influences are more machines than particular artists, a seeming Drexciya influence emerges in "Droid" and the dark synth-driven "Feel the Heat" while dub rears its head in "Xray" and "Bass-o-Train"), there's clearly a unified feel to the album. "Skitzoid" casts a mechano spell, "Night Flight" breezily rocks, and the jacking cut "Voltar" broils feverishly for almost eight minutes. Bringing the mix to a chilled close, "Sweet You" floats in a billowing haze of jazzy pianos and locomotive drum brushes before vaporizing in a cloud of cymbal accents.