Drum’n’bass legend Goldie hits the decks at The Wedgewood Rooms

Subjective is the new project from Goldie and James Davidson. Picture by Chelone Wolf
Subjective is the new project from Goldie and James Davidson. Picture by Chelone Wolf

Earlier this week drum ‘n’ bass innovator and Metalheadz label boss Goldie received the Pioneer Award at the prestigious Association of Independent Music (AIM) 2018 awards.

It’s the latest in a strong of awards and honours for the musician – including being made an MBE for his services to music and young people in in 2016.

After making his name in the graffiti scene, he found himself at the forefront of the scene for a rhythmically-charged new form of electronic music known as drum’n’bass.

His 1995 debut album Timeless has come to be regarded as a classic, and aside from music, he has gone on to make a name for himself as an actor (notably in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough) and as a regular on TV, including Celebrity Big Brother, Maestro and Strictly Come Dancing.

And next week he’ll be returning to the decks as he plays an exclusive DJ set for local promoters Beats & Swing at The Wedgewood Rooms.

But when The Guide caught up with him, he was keen to talk about his new project, Subjective, a duo with fellow producer James Davidson.

Indeed, he is working in the studio with James as we chat, and occasionally finds himself distracted by an ear-catching beat.

James had previously released material on Metalheadz as one half of the act Ulterior Motive. 

And it was while working with Goldie’s label and then as producer on Goldie’s 2017 album The Journey Man, that the latter thought they might be able to come up with something together.

‘We just kind of enjoy working together and there’s lots of residual ideas when we do a project. With this we thought let’s just go with the vibe of what we’re doing.

‘There wasn’t a concept, it was more, let’s just have an idea we can kind of have fun with and follow the water, so to speak.

‘We’ve got a good sound and we’ve got good arrangement skills. James’s ear for arrangements is really something special, he’s really got that going on.’

The resulting album, Act One – Music For Inanimate Objects, is released on September 21.

‘At my age I don’t really need to make music, but I do it because I enjoy the idea of still surprising people.

‘[Act One’s lead single] Inkolelo’s a great track, but when you hear the album I think you’re going to be surprised again, it’s a really cool, really dynamic album.

‘Journey Man’s not an easy album to listen to – it’s a muso’s album, but it’s kind of more directed at people who will discover it and listen to it in 20 years.

‘Whereas with this project, we slow it down and simplify it in a way. It still has integrity and autonomy – but it’s more acceptable for people –  you don’t have to struggle with the idea of listening to it - rhythmically, it’s easier to listen to.’

I used to be proving a point with music, and I don’t feel I need to do that any more. What I’m doing now is to just enjoy the music.

‘Shouldn’t music be enjoyable in the first place?’ he asks himself. ‘To me it is, but it should always be honest  and emotional and the state where my life is at that time – I’ve always worn my music on my sleeve. 

‘However, this project is about sharing the musical knowledge I have with someone who’s highly skilled in understanding concepts and taking them forward, and having a simpler look at things and enjoying it a lot better and having a lot of fun with it.’

He adds: ‘ I’ve always been a fighter with music and gone way ahead of the curve in a lot of respects. I’ve come from an era that’s spanned three decades from the 80’s to now, and I think I’ve always pushed a progressive drum‘n’bass, sound. But this is a refined album, one that you can really fall into, immerse yourself in, or just play in the background – and it still works.’

Beats & Swing present Goldie

The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Saturday, September 15

wedgewood-rooms.co.uk