A diamond-encrusted gold grill, an obnoxious number of oversized gold rings and a perpetual look of je ne sais quoi are always helpful for people interested in making snap judgments about the eccentric Goldie. Looking past all that, you'll find that he's more than a music producer and DJ. He's a pioneer in sonic architecture, an actor (Snatch and The World Is Not Enough), successful graffiti artist and, more recently, a yogi. (Oh, and at one point he also ran a profitable "grill" business.)
Most importantly, Goldie has been in the jungle/drum and bass game practically since its start, and has made some of the most popular songs in the genre's history, including "Inner City Life" and "TemperTemper."
Many who listen to electronic music know Goldie is a legend, but few truly know why. While you can hear for yourselves on Aug. 11 when he performs at Dharma Lounge, it's worth noting that Goldie has impacted the majority of EDM in some way.
One listen to Goldie's critically acclaimed 1995 debut, Timeless, is a fast reminder of his innovations early in the history of drum and bass music. His complex layering of choppy, bad-boy polyrhythms, deep basslines, ethereal strings and stunningly beautiful female vocals was completely unheard of at the time of its release.
The title song, "Timeless (Inner City Life/Pressure/Jah)," is a 21-minute orchestral DNB track often credited with being the song that brought the genre into the spotlight. Ask any head, and they'll tell you it's one of the greatest DNB songs of all time — which is a big statement for something released nearly 20 years ago. However, it's reflective of Goldie's timeless abilities.
The album reached UK Gold status at No. 7 and was listed in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, as well as ranking as one of the top albums of its year in the New York Times, Village Voice and Spin. Did I mention it was his first album? Oh right, I did.
Metalheadz, the imprint Goldie helped co-found, isn't only a pioneering label in DNB, but is also responsible for discovering many of the genre's figureheads, such as English DJs Andy C, Ed Rush, Optical and Adam F.
The influential Metalheadz Sunday Sessions performance series, which took place at London's Blue Note Club, became so popular that it lead to the mainstreaming of drum and bass in the mid-to-late '90s. Also around that time, the first dubstep tracks were created and released.
Using the same dark influences and breakbeat patterns, dubstep was at first in direct correlation to drum and bass. Now, we're inundated with dubstep everywhere we go. Britney Spears, Internet Explorer, Pucker Vodka and every other choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance joined the dubstep train.
I suppose, in a weird way, that we should thank (or punish) Goldie for his feats in music history. In fact, the British Broadcasting Company recently made a list of 60 people they feel have had the greatest impact on Britain in the past 60 years — guess who's number 50?
More recently, outside of being a label boss and maintaining a grueling tour schedule, you can find Goldie creating art around the world, including exhibitions in London, Berlin and even a nightclub in Ibiza. The more you know (cue shooting star)...
Goldie with Tony Dubz & Will Love, B.Z., Coley & Krost and Sylum. $15. 9 p.m. Aug. 11. Dharma Lounge. dharmacharlotte.com.