Alchemy-“Alchemy is the art of liberating parts of the Cosmos from temporal existence and achieving perfection”
Goldie is the quintessential ‘creative’ who oscillates with consummate ease between the worlds of film, art and music. Starting out in graffiti as a young seventeen year old, Goldie forged a career that eventually saw him mentioned as a visionary. In truth before even the mercurial and enigmatic Banksy, Goldie was seen as one of the fore running UK names bringing the art of the underground and dis-enfranchised to a more globally acceptable sphere: the mainstream art world regardless of their possible dislike had to notice this vibrant form.
Goldie is a man that seems to have the agitated energy of someone who needs to be constantly stimulated-while graffiti and art are all consuming “passions”, his crossover into the world of drum and bass (and later acting) was and is consequently no surprise.
Flavour in this juncture caught the frequently called godfather of drum and bass with his musical hat on as he prepares to drop some more productive magic. Goldie whose name apparently comes from the fact that he used to have gold dreads and not because of his gnashers is an interesting character who bristles intensity and a mind obviously working at the speed of a drum and bass track (180 bpm to be exact!). Bowling into the Hoxton Hotel with all the gusto of an assured man happy with his Bikram honed body (he practices this art five days a week) he is straight to business.
“Hello yes right where we doing the interview?” he quickly asks his PR who is running behind schedule. Ushered into the room where the interview is to take place we sit down and the interview starts with his playful yet assertive “you dweebs shut it I am doing this interview!”
“It’s twenty years in the business of music but it was actually an accident in a way that I became involved in it” He details a chance attendance at a drum and bass rave which “hooked” him to the energy and futuristic sounds being played by godfathers of the scene like Fabio and Grooverider.
Two decades down the line from that initial drum and bass experience and Goldie who professes, “I don’t give a f..k if people like me” will be dropping some of the classics from his discography on the aptly named Alchemist. Charting his career from 1992 to 2012 it’s an aural visceral glory, as rolling bass, jabbing beats and those spine tingling futuristic sounds all accost your inner ear-TIDY! It represents a milestone in his career and through his slightly existential vocal wanderings it is clear that Goldie does not do random and there is a clear thought process in this collection of choice cuts.
“The Alchemist is taken from the best of what I think I can look at as photographs of time…..canvasses I can look at and so the way I have put the playlist together it jumps backward and forward in time taking people on a journey-these days with electronic albums I get bored shitless really so I wanted it to be different yet thought provoking”.
It’s a three disc set that takes you time travelling literally and mentally as ambient sounds draw you into the sometimes dark, sometimes thought provoking world of Goldie. Single Petal Of A Rose (a take on the Duke Ellington classic of the same name), represents his first fresh cut of music for 2013 and it is classic Goldie showing that he has lost none of the wizardry when it comes to producing classics. It’s a ghostly track mixing soulful vocals over a cantankerous beat-sublime in every sense of the word. Also look out for Goldie’s remix interpretations of some of the biggest tracks from yester-year and now-the remix of Ed Sheeran’s Lego is tight!
The massive favourites are of course there from the sumptuous and haunting Terminator, to Malice In Wonderland and the twenty one minute behemoth that is Timeless. It was Timeless the album (1992) that ignited the passion for Goldie’s mastery of the production of drum and bass-in turn Timeless the track captured the angst and pressures of inner city life in biblical proportions. Timeless more than that however represents the Goldie that continually likes to stick a middle finger up at anything deemed the norm or establishment.
“Well with Timeless I got dissed by a lot of A and R men who did not get my music and so I made a track that was twenty minutes long so they had to fucking listen to it!” he literally snarls before laughing. “Timeless in fact will become a whole live orchestral piece that will be serious and I am really looking forward to it getting this whole new interpretation look out for it at the Science Music.”
Goldie has an intuitive knack it seems of staying relevant and sometimes even staying ahead of time. From his well publicised hard up bringing to now it is perhaps the simplicity of his ambition that has kept him at the top for such a long time.
“If I am in the studio or painting it’s all part of the same thing for me it’s all part of art, of creation of representing a sub culture that is alive. From a musical perspective I just want to make music that is not disposable…I’m doing alright though I have been around for twenty years!”
THE ALCHEMIST: THE BEST OF GOLDIE 1992-2012 RELEASED-MARCH 13th 2013 (ffrr/Metalheadz)
Pictures courtesy of Salty Inson