chapter  4
19 Pages

Britfunk: Black British Popular Music, Identity and the Recording Industry in the Early 1980s

In 1988, Gerald Simpson aka A Guy Called Gerald's idiosyncratic electronic dance track 'Voodoo Ray' entered the sonic spectrum of British house dance clubs and parties, as it was mixed into acid house and techno disc jockey (DJ) sets. This chapter shows the Manchester city's contribution in the development of Gerald's visionary sound. Addressing the city's rich underground black music culture during the 1980s in the context of a post-industrial economic climate helps to challenge a whitewashed mythology of British rave culture that broke the careers of white male superstar DJs and majority-white Madchester indie guitar bands, proto-Britpop by-products of what was ultimately an electronic dance music scene. The chapter presents Manchester's black dance scene of the 1980s, with its jazz and electro dance crews, such as the smoothly stepping Jazz Defektors and the energetic almost acrobatic Foot Patrol, offered a particularly fertile ground for Gerald Simpson.