Merry Melodies: Play the 100 Most Popular Holiday Songs
A native of Walsall, England, Goldie was born to a Scottish-Jamaican couple and put up for adoption. He bounced around child-care homes and several sets of foster parents during his childhood years, and became fascinated with the rise of hip-hop, breakdancing, and graffiti art. By 1986, he was involved with breakdancing crews around his home of Wolverhampton; after making several trips to London for all-day breakdancing events (and to see hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa), Goldie appeared in the English documentary on graffiti art called Bombing. He also spent time in New York and Miami (working in a market stall selling customized gold teeth), but returned to England by 1988.
For a time, Goldie worked at the Try 1 shop in Walsall (also selling gold teeth), then moved to London. He began hanging out with two fellow heads from the British hip-hop scene, Nellee Hooper and 3-D (later of Massive Attack), and by 1991 he'd been introduced to the breakbeat culture that birthed jungle; at the seminal club night Rage, DJs Grooverider and Fabio pitched ancient breakbeats up to 45 rpm, blending their creations with the popular rave music of the time. Goldie was hooked on the sound of raw breakbeat techno, and he gradually switched his allegiance to jungle from the British hip-hop scene that later generated trip-hop.
Through his girlfriend DJ Kemistry (later to make her name with the mixing duo Kemistry & Storm), Goldie hooked up with Dego and Mark Mac, two of the most influential figures in the emerging drum'n'bass scene. The duo's Reinforced Records and recordings as 4hero were fostering an increasingly artistic attitude to the music, and Goldie learned much about breakbeat production and engineering at their studios. He recorded his first single as Ajax Project, then debuted on Reinforced as Metalheadz with two 1992 singles, "Killermuffin" and "Menace." The 1993 single "Terminator" broke him into the jungle scene -- besides pioneering the crucial jungle concept of time-stretching (basically extending a sample without altering its pitch) the single evinced the growing separation between the uplifting rave scene and its emerging dark side, reliant on breakbeats and restless vibes.
The name was later taken for his influential Metalheadz Records, which released material from a legion of crucial jungle artists: Photek, Doc Scott, Dillinja, Source Direct, Peshay, J Majik, Alex Reece, Lemon D, and Optical among others. Later singles such as "Angel" and remixes for 4hero's Reinforced label spread Goldie's fame, and in 1995 he signed a contract with London Records. His first major-label single was "Timeless," and his debut album of the same name followed in August 1995. He gained additional fame in early 1996, when an American tour supporting Björk sparked a relationship between the two and led to a brief engagement period before they called off a wedding. Goldie resurfaced in 1998 with a high-profile follow-up, SaturnzReturn, an epic two-disc set including one track, "Mother," that broke the 60-minute barrier itself. The album tanked with critics and fans, leading to a return to the underground later that year with the Ring of Saturn EP. Goldie mixed a two-disc volume in the INCredible series of mix albums compiled by Ovum, as well as a number of Metalheadz-centric sets. Malice in Wonderland, a production album credited to Rufige Kru, was completed for a 2007 release. ~ John Bush, Rovi