sat 24/06/2017

CD: Goldie - The Journey Man | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Goldie - The Journey Man

CD: Goldie - The Journey Man

A fully-functioning, highly listenable album

Clifford Price – Goldie – has long cut an imposing, and complicated, figure in the music industry. Part larger-than-life entertainer, part monster (as satirised in music industry grotesque Kill Your Friends), part irrepressible raver, part grandiose conceptualist. But there's another side to him too: the massive, Pat Metheny-idolising, jazz smoothie.

His breakthrough 1994 track “Inner City Life” was partly high-tech drum'n'bass ferocity, but it was completely merged with jazz-soul sophistication and of course the soaring voice of the sadly recently-deceased Dianne Charlegmane (who would work with Goldie on many projects through the years). And his preposterous, almost career-ending, 1998 quadruple album Saturnz Returns was packed with jazz noodling.

All that and more is here. He's still very clearly not shy of excess: of 16 tracks here, only one is under five minutes, and the centrepiece “Redemption” runs to nearly 19. The whole thing is full of virtuoso playing from The Heritage Orchestra as well as plenty of electronic studio technique, and there are six featured vocalists. In the publicity for the record, Goldie compares himself to Stanley Kubrick and Paul Thomas Anderson.

Incredibly, though, it is a fully-functioning, highly listenable album – and that is because “smooth jazz Goldie” is running the show here. Much like how his one-time collaborators 4 Hero evolved from rave and drum'n'bass into sophisticated soul merchants, this is as much a neo-soul record as a drum'n'bass one. There are tracks, like “This is not a Love Song” (not a PiL cover!), which barely have electronics at all – and even the sprawling “Redemption”, which runs from drum'n'bass to deep houseand back, is a coherent, lush listening experience because it follows its own unfolding jazz logic. By letting one side of his contradictory personality lead, against the odds, Goldie has made a rather gorgeous record.

@JoeMuggs

Overleaf: watch the video for "I Adore You"

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Average: 4 (1 vote)

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