Goldie 'The Journey Man' (Cooking Vinyl/Metalheadz)
Good old Goldie. Recent single ‘I Adore You’ induced euphoria with its spine-shivering vocal, anthem-sized melody and rolling d’n’b contours – but only an idiot would have expected more of the same. Apart from 2012’s stylish retrospective on Metalheadz, this is his first proper solo LP project since ‘Saturnz Return’, and it’s brilliantly, bloody-mindedly Goldie: a slew of deep d’n’b grooves offset by beatless lounge-blues arias and glamour-soaked jazz club noodlings. Perhaps this is what he meant when he described the record as “who I really am and where my heart wants to be”: a split-screen snapshot of breakbeat roots and tuxedo fantasy ably summed up by opener ‘Horizons’, with its ‘Timeless’-style naked vocals and breaks that segue into smokey piano rolls. Who cares it if all hangs together? Hungry junglists will turn up gems amid the muscular funk of ‘Prism’, the soulful pulses of ‘The Mirrored River’ feat Natalie Duncan and dubby scuddings of ‘I Think of You’; basshounds will find grit in the percussive wonk-out of ‘Triangle’ or the malevolent ‘Redemption’. More a director than a producer, Goldie’s pepretual genius is in maintaining the diamond-bladed underground savagery of his rebooted Metalheadz label while growing his ever-expanding World of Goldie adventure, coloured as it is by BBC projects, New Year’s Honours shortlistings and sold-out shows at Ronnie Scott’s. These tracks speak of both universes in the same breath. Only Goldie could make this LP. It is, and is for, him – pure and simple. Ewen Cook
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