A Guy Called Gerald's decade-long exploration into the break has rendered him a master of mixology. Precariously twisting beats around glimmering instrumental samples, he creates driving rhythms with a glossy veneer so radiant, you might not necessarily notice the complicated programming beneath. Born into the cultural desolation that was Manchester, England in the late '60/early '70s, Gerald Simpson did what any bored future knob-twiddler would do: rebuilt electronics for fun. A decade later Simpson co-wrote "Pacific State" with the hugely influential 808 State (an original member of the band, he wasn't credited for years) and ultimately struck out on his own, launched by the club hit "Voodoo Ray." He was picked up by Sony for the next few albums, though he ultimately left them after a disputed non-release. Never one for stylistic stagnation, Simpson's tried his hand at every techno and house permutation there is. His self-released album 28 Gun Bad-Boy is widely considered a key stepping stone in the evolution of drum 'n' bass.