As iconic as he is influential, Clifford Price - also known as Goldie - has been a stalwart of electronic music since he exploded into the public consciousness with the release of his 1995 debut album; Timeless.
Having grown up in the West Midlands during the 1980s, Goldie initially made his name as a graffiti artist. Often working alongside Robert Del Naja (of Massive Attack fame) his artwork has been featured in several books and exhibitions in galleries across Europe, including one in the depths of the London underground.
However, it is through his music that he gained real exposure. When Timeless was released in 1995 Jungle as we know it today was still in its infancy. The blends of break beats and bass lines associated with jungle and soulful female vocals layered onto symphonic strings was truly innovative and reached number seven in the UK album charts as a result.
He has since released a further six studio albums under various aliases and co-founded Metalheadz, one of the most important record labels in electronic music. Consistently delivering first rate releases, Metalheadz possesses a uniquely original sound. By combining the original influences of early jungle with what has subsequently become known as drum and bass they have cultivated a sound that feels true to both and that has remained fresh for more than 20 years.
With over two decades’ worth of music to choose from picking just five was a tricky task, but here’s five that we think reflect the various sounds and stages of one of the most colourful careers in music.
“Inner City life”
No one can question the legitimacy of Goldie’s claim to the drum and bass throne, and the release of this track was his coronation. His most iconic song and one of the all time drum and bass classics. The combination of soulful vocals and jungle breaks was years ahead of its time and in 2013 led to it being voted the 30th greatest dance track of all time according to Mixmag.
Following on from the success of “Inner City Life”, “Angel” delivers a very different flavour yet it retains elements key to the former's success. With a strong, soulful female lead vocal “Angel” is another example of how Goldie blended the sounds of jungle and soul but this time delivering a darker, grittier edge. A rolling bass hook and dynamic breaks allow this one to grab hold of the listener in a different but similarly captivating way to “Inner City Life”, again entering the UK singles chart.
“Digital” Ft. KRS – One
A cross genre fusion of sound born out of Goldie’s long affiliation with hip hop and the US. One legend and pioneer meets another, resulting in a track that felt fresh whilst managing not to sound too cliché or corny, which is always a risk when genres collide.
Prism is one of those tracks that gets better and better the more times you listen to it. Beautifully layered synths lay over a deep bass line that leads the listener through a real journey. Fittingly taken from his latest album, 2017’s The Journey Man, which Goldie himself has described as his finest work to date.
Rufige Kru – “Krisp Biscuit (Power Mix)”
To get a true understanding of just how revolutionary Goldie has been it's imperative to give some of his really early stuff a listen. Under the alias Rufige Kru he released some of his rawest material. This one came out in 1992 and gives you an instant hit of nostalgia. Through those heavy bass lines, endless samples and acidic sounds you really get a sense of what those early days were all about and just how much the sound has evolved in the 25 years since.
Goldie has a busy weekend ahead, with performances at Bestival in East Lulworth and Outlook Festival in Croatia. Both running from Thursday 7th until Sunday 10th September, the two festivals will bring some of the biggest artists in dance music to their respective idyllic locations.
Photo courtesy of Circle Talent Agency