Goldie Talks New Album, ‘EDM’ and His Bass-Devoted Life
With all this talk of dubstep and trap, its easy to lose sight of the original bass movement in dance: drum n bass. When the genre hit the States in the late 90s, one of its breakout stars was the charismatic Goldie, whose gold-plated teeth werent even his most definitive feature. Goldies productions merged acetate-cut, club-ready d n b with melodies, strings, and emotion, bringing the sound overground. The DJ, producer, label head, actor, graffiti artist and public speaker is now celebrating 20 years in the scene, with three-CD compilation The Alchemist: The Best of Goldie 1992-2012, out March 11.
Born Clifford Joseph Price, Goldie has sold over 2.5 million records during his 20-year career (driven by hits like Angel, included on Alchemist), in addition to running the Metalheadz label, which he founded with Kemistry & Storm in 1994. The Discogs page for Metalheadz reads like a whos who of drum n bass history. The label has not only released groundbreaking mixtapes, like their Platinum Breaks series, but also tracks from artists including Doc Scott, Grooverider, Dillinja, Photek, Adam F and more.
Now Goldie tells CODE that hes working on a new artist album, featuring collaborators like Flying Lotus, Burial and Photek. The pictures included in the deluxe edition of Alchemist tell their own story. Check out the exclusive snaps throughout this page and read on for career advice, a history lesson, and a drum n bass 101 primer from Goldie.
What do you think when you hear the phrase EDM?
Number one, I dont know any of this EDM America or EDM UK. If you want to talk about EDM, lets talk about Detroit underground music, Chicago house and lets talk about all the things that got us to this place. We all get on the train of dance music. We need to all respectfully look through the carriages that have come before us and realize how we got here.
The new generation of kids is so connected to the Internet, yet they have no history about where they come from and know nothing about the music. When youre part of any genre, its suicide to not respect where it came from.
We need to think about the younger generation. I made my first record at 27, and there are people who are 17 and 18 out there making records. Technology is acceptable and accessible now, and theres a whole generation of people who are turned onto this music. What are we going to do, just turn a blind eye to them? We still need to try and educate them.
My whole thing with EDM is, if you have integrity and yet you regress in how youve been as an artist, theres something not quite right there. If youre just here to get paid, I find that very culturally indifferent. When you go into the studio, you have to know what youre going in there for. I went into the studio because I had a voice and I wanted to change things, and I dont necessarily mean my bank account. The money is almost a B factor, a side product.
Its well known that you fell into drum n bass in the early 90s after hearing it in London clubs. How did you end up making it a career?
It was an evolution. I lived in Birmingham, New York, London and Miami. I looked over London and thought, I want to be somebody. Graffiti was the whole thing for me, and I was taking artwork to all the record companies, telling them that the new generation of graffiti was here. They couldnt dig the artwork, it was too far ahead. So I went to an independent label [Reinforced] and asked them to let me redesign their label, as I knew then that it was all about the identity, being seen as a crew and having a mark. So for me, it was an easy transformation, as I knew I wanted to record my own stuff in my own studio, and bring the label the finished product.
I took all my favorite records, my canvas-painting head, rented out William Orbits studio, and made my own music.
I look back on all of this music as my own Instagram, my waypoint. I always remember exactly what I was doing, where I was, and what the record meant to me. Like [1995s] Sea of Tears for example. That was born sitting on a bench in Miami and having to fly back to England to bury my stepfather. Ive always been honest about my music. We may not have made Suge Knight money, but we sure as hell sold a few albums.
Metalheadzs release history reads like a whos who of drum n bass. Tell us a bit about how everything got started.
Our first ten releases are pretty much the bible for what you see now in drum and bass. Every artist we signed to the label went on to a major label. When we started, it was similar to what dubsteps going through now: Even Britney [Spears] wants a piece! I wanted the Metalheadz crew to have a style, but everyone within the crew to have their own unique style. That was the blueprint.
So if someone was just coming into the scene and wanted to get to know drum and bass, what would you suggest that they listen to?
A history lesson? Start with early RAM Records releases, early Moving Shadow, and Metalheadz of course. Then you can go off in branches. If you want something thats darker, Id tell you to listen to Source Direct. If you want beautiful, smooth music, Id say to go and listen to Roni Size.
There are also some beautiful new people that I could shine the light on, whether its Skream, Benga, Plastician, or Drew [Best] and John [Dadzie, aka 12th Planet] and those guys out in L.A. with SMOG. I think that SMOG did for L.A. and the West Coast what Metalheadz did for London and England in general.
What are your plans after The Alchemist?
After that comes [a new] artist album. Theres are a few names being thrown around. Pages is one. That album will deal more with people like Flying Lotus, Burial, Photek, D-Bridge and Total Science.
Were also doing a completely notated version of [groundbreaking 1995 LP] Timeless with an 80-piece orchestra and choir, and its a different beast. I also have an art show called The Lost Tribes in September which takes my inspiration from around the world and indigenous cultures, and acknowledges where culture comes from today.
Nonplus :Think and Change.
Nonplus have revealed details for their upcoming label compilation, Think and Change.
Nonplus was founded in 2009 by Al Green (AKA Boddika) and Damon Kirkham (AKA Jon Convex), who at the time made records together under the name Instra:mental. These days Green runs the label by himself, though he’s kept its original aesthetic very much intact, bringing together various kinds of club sounds under one umbrella. Think and Change sums up the Nonplus ethos, with UK acts such as Pearson Sound, SCB and Four Tet bumping elbows with the likes of Martyn andKassem Mosse. Joy Orbison delivers a track that’s already been making the rounds in clubs for months: the Hard Wax-referencing “Big Room Tech House Dj Tool - TIP!”
We recently caught up with Green via email to find out more about the compilation and Nonplus in general:
Have the overarching goals or ideals of Nonplus changed at all since you started out?
To be honest, I don’t think they have. I always saw the label as a platform to release electronic music on, regardless of genre. It’s a very personal project to me, and I’m honoured to have worked with all the artists that have released with me to date.
What was the aim with Think and Change?
Since I started running the label myself, I felt that I wanted to do something special with it, something that hadn’t been done with Nonplus before and a compilation seemed like the perfect thing to do. I wanted to pull in original tracks from artists I’d already worked with (Kassem Mosse, Lowtec, Endian, Basic Soul Unit) and also bring in some new faces (Four Tet, Joy Orbison, Pearson Sound, Martyn) and over the last year I’ve been piecing it together and making it happen.
Are there characteristics you think the artists on the compilation share? Is there an aesthetic or an approach that binds them?
It was important to me to keep a strong UK presence on there because I’m proud of my roots. Growing up listening to early hardcore, jungle and electronic music from the UK… And at the same time reach out to people like the Workshop guys again because I have so much respect for what they do and have done in terms of the label and their music. I remember when I first contacted Kassem Mosse and asked if he’d write a 12-inch for the label, it meant a lot to me that he did, and I’m glad him and Lowtec have continued to work with me up to this day. Other than that, I feel the running order on the album works really well, a good diverse variation of music which has coherence throughout.
Is there anything on there you’re particularly pleased with?
Would be hard for me to pick a favourite but I was very pleased to release an old Instra:mental & dBridge piece on there—a track called “White Snares.” We always liked it, but for some reason it never got a release, so I’m happy to have those two artists’ names on the label again, especially as they were the artists who kicked the label off originally. Other than that, I’m just happy with the whole thing and so happy to be working with artists that I have so much respect for… I couldn’t ask for much more.
Think and Change will be released as a five-piece vinyl box set limited to 1,000 copies (complete with a download voucher), preceded two weeks earlier by a pair of vinyl samplers. All five 12-inches from the box set will also be released individually.
Think and Change
A Boddika & Joy Orbison - &Fate
B Lowtec - The Rhythm
C Four Tet - For These Times
D Boddika - Beats Me
E Pearson Sound - Quiver
F Endian - Straight Intention
G Joy Orbison - Big Room Tech House Dj Tool - TIP!
H Kassem Mosse - IP Mirrors
I Instra:mental & dBridge - White Snares
J Martyn - Bad Chicago
A Boddika & Joy Orbison - Mercy (Boddika’s VIP)
AA Kassem Mosse - Broken Patterns
A SCB - Dissipate
AA Basic Soul Unit - Untoward
NonPlus+ will release Think and Change on February 25th, 2013.
Skudge, with his most recent release, Fingers:
Joy O‘s Big Room Tech House DJ Tool – Tip!
Soundcloud clip of the offering from Pearson Sound:
————- LINE UP ————-
JiKay / Dubley / Mculo
Bear / Snaps / Franclin
Isometrik / Howitzer / Breeze
MC’s - SP, Texas, Sparkerboi, Ruthless,
Earlybird tickets £10 - sold out
Standard tickets £12
Last remaining tickets £15
From - http://www.fatsoma.com/decks3000/