Detour: Goldie

Monday 11th March 2013

The Rage Club, London, 1991. Those in attendance could hardly have dreamt of the shockwaves that were to engulf the underground from that moment onwards. Because one young man, newly exposed to the madness of the early ‘90s jungle scene, was immediately hooked, although it is doubtful whether even he would have predicted that he would go on to sell 2.5 million records worldwide, and join the very highest of ranks in the d&b world. Today, Goldie is an institution.

First making a name for himself through street art and graffiti, Goldie took to the decks like a duck to water, and musically has been firing on all cylinders for twenty years. He is celebrating this landmark with the release of a Best Of, entitled ‘The Alchemist’, and alchemist he truly is, although over the arc of his career, perhaps King Midas might be more accurate, with everything he touches turning to gold.

His first track, ‘Terminator’, released under the Metalheadz moniker, set the bar high, channelling the chaotic energy of jungle, drawing on his hip-hop lifestyle and revealing an innovative technical approach to become an instant classic. As Rufige Kru he developed a close relationship with the amen break, releasing huge cuts like ‘Menace’, before striking out as Goldie to drop a steady stream of certified d&b anthems, remixes and collaborations.

Years down the line, Goldie has witnessed countless shifts in the fabric of the bass music world, but his roots remain intact; it is hard to think of anyone with a better grasp of the old-skool jungle drums than the man with the gold fronts. 

In 1994 Goldie helped set up the now renowned d&b label Metalheadz, dedicated to pushing jungle to its limits, and which has played host to titanic d&b names such as Dillinja, Ed Rush and Photek. It also provided the driving force behind the legendary Metalheadz Sunday Sessions at The Blue Note in London. Goldie’s dedication to the genre he loves, and his ability to move with its changes, is reflected in Metalheadz’ current crop, which features Lenzman and Jubei amongst others.

He may have been in the game longer than you’ve been aware of its existence, but Goldie knows how to party. Catch him at Detour & DnB Soc March 12th. In the meantime, listen to the Goldie tunes above, and instantly receive a free history lesson.

Words: Joe Ponting