POP MUSIC / Pop Music

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The Independent Culture
It was jungle up against the rest of a hostile music scene for most of last year but now, thankfully, things seem to be heading for a truce. Just look at the inroads into respectability the drum- and bass-driven style has made in the last 12 month s: a weekly show on Kiss FM, two television documentaries (not to mention the BBC2 effort recently, showing drug counsellors in the toilets at a jungle rave all-nighter helping the teenage lads combat drug abuse). Hey, the scene has even spawned a few hi ts.

But jungle is still too London-dominated. To seduce the North it'll probably need "stars" to pave the way, faces people can latch onto. And few come more appropriate than Manchester's A Guy Called Gerald (right). His name is synonymous with the last Eighties E-fuelled acid techno venture for one; most albums are of the compilation hits variety. But crucially it draws just as much from pulsey ambient techno as it does from the urban rumble of manic break-beats. The pair-up seems so natural, one wonders why there's so much antipathy between techno and jungle scenes. A Guy Called Gerald's appearance alongside other techno luminaries including Renegade Soundwave and Dread Zone at the NME Vibes night should help warm the friendship a bit. Here's to 1995 - and techno and jungle finding more mutual shades of rhythm than ever before.

A Guy Called Gerald, 20 Jan, The Rocket, 166-220 Holloway Road, (071-700 2421)