Saturday, 18 May 2013

Noctis Magazine: Goldie interview

Transcript from the Spring 2013 interview with Goldie wearing pieces from the Nutters of Savile Row X Peter Werth (NoSR X PW) Autumn/Winter 2013 collection:

Goldie or Clifford Price?

Who is this man and how do you know him? I’m sure you’ve heard him, seen him or seen his artwork. Saying that I’m sure your mum knows him. But does she, or even you, know the man behind the myth?

With a history of music, graffiti and acting behind him, Goldie has fluidly crossed between worlds and yet, he has never been seen to sell out. So who or what is he? Well with his best of album entitled “The Alchemist: Best of Goldie 1992- 2012” available let’s go back and find out.

Goldie wears Nutters of Savile Row X Peter Werth jacquard blazer and dogtooth shirt
NoSR X PW jacquard blazer and dogtooth shirt

To begin, let’s begin at the beginning. Goldie, better known to his friends and family as Clifford Price has travelled consistently throughout his life travelling from the Midlands to New York, then Miami and finally London. It may not be one of the reasons people know him but when you go all the way back to the beginning before his music, Goldie was known for his Graffiti.

Appearing in Bombing by Dick Fontaine. A documentary about a journey from the Bronx which combined art and Hip Hop together. In New York, Goldie quickly learnt about the real deal. Blue Collar Workers and the economy crash; he called it a “Real wake-up call” and it has influenced the rest of his life. This was also the time that he met his father.

Moving back to London from the US he moved to a place called Doorly Tower, which he claims was his University. Living with the cameraman from the documentary, he began hustling in Camden and more importantly he was able to paint.

The creativity that he was allowed, he claims, is part of his double life having lived in institutes most of his childhood. From running away consistently he had now started life on a housing estate. Saying he will never forget when he realized that he could traverse the estate without touching the grass. Now going back quickly.. you may ask institutions. Well coming from having his name on his collar he has always had a struggle with identity, trying to decide what he wanted for his life.

Heading down a route of hustling and mugging he realized that he had an artist inside of him. Wanting to be different from what he was, he never did fit into this lifestyle which he had embarked upon saying “I wasn’t good at mugging people.”

NoSR X PW flannel shirt and button-through gilet

The next step for Goldie was whenhip Hop came. This was the first time that he could look at a book and see this whole world created by social deprivation and the subculture which had evolved from that. There was so much to it and everything was so new for him.

What was it like going to clubs at the start or the first bubble writing on a train? “These were things that were churned out by a society which was supposed to father and mother it. So for what I saw through this looking glass of the Bronx I saw the real fabric of the country and it was really important to me as I took it all in. Taking it all really seriously” he says reflecting on this point of his life. “It’s about having a voice and most people don’t have a voice anymore.”

Goldie moves on quickly to discuss the ideas of the social background and the fact that society has stopped listening all together. Obviously this is the embodiment of his beginning. Goldie is quick to say that Hip Hop in it’s pure form changed the world in the way of RNB leaning towards a common debate saying that it’s the same way as EDM has changed the face of dance music and Detroit techno and Chicago House influenced techno of the 90’s. “You have to look further than your nose and see the History.” [We come back to this concept in a little while].

Proving this quite quickly, Goldie brings it all together by asking “Do you think that people who go to Ibiza know about the issues that people in Chicago were facing? They have no fucking idea” Although saying this, Goldie has never shied away from doing things his way. Even initially picking out Graffiti which, until recently, was seen as the bottom rung of the ladder as far as art was concerned, and entering the world of Drum and Bass which, at the time, was a completely underground form of music.

NoSR X PW fur trimmed coat, button-through gilet and Oxford bags

Rejecting everything he believes that to move forward is an old b-boy motto, but moving forward, he says is about faith pushing forward science. A prime example of this is his early track, “Terminator”. Famously known for time stretching. A method which can now be found in every piece of software.

Constantly evolving his ideas in both art and music, he claims that everything he does is the barbarian from outside the four walls. With everything he has worked on he takes it back to his concept of faith and technology. Because as he states “If the technology surpasses the faith then anybody can do it even a monkey.”

This even goes back to Timeless, which shows the genre as a work tool. Creating an aural aesthetic which allows him to create not only the engine for the songs, but the beautiful chassis that surrounds them.

He looks back to the ideas of the 70’s and first recordings. Even though he was writing the tracks which embody most of this album in the 90’s, at the time he was looking to create something which maintained the melancholy and discord that only a human could bring to the table rather than the monotone line which seems to have crept into music with Mixed-in key and quantization.

In his way of being old fashioned, Goldie looks back to move forward as everything shifts and changes. Rather than rely on your eyes and ears to tell you about the piece, Goldie aims directly for the heart wanting his listeners and gallery goers to really FEEL his work.

NoSR X PW fur trimmed coat, button-through gilet and Oxford bags
Inner city life was ahead of its time with people not even playing it at the correct speed, which Goldie seems to have a mixed relationship with, having wanted to push ahead and keep moving forward but seeming to hold a mild distain for the rest of the world not quite being able to keep up, saying, “Only now am I starting to get recognition for these things”.

Comparing times in his life, where for example Timeless was up against George Michael and Jamiraquai at the Mobo’s, he says, “Well now everything is dance music, if you strip off the top line. It’s all pretty much EDM.”

With his music and his art being combined so closely, Goldie sees himself as an alchemist [hence the title of the album]. Bringing everything in his life together as one and barely differentiating between. Saying that “art is the application of a medium to a surface be it writing to paper, art to a wall or music to a dub plate.”

Stepping away from music quickly to discuss his career as a personality we skip over most of it with Goldie saying, “There is an irony to me, I did a lot of that because I can. Where I come from you would never have thought in your wildest dreams that you could do that” Underneath it, all people know Goldie, but you ask them what he does and people may become a little unstuck. It’s all part of the myth he’s creating. Is he laughing at all of us?

The conversation settles back onto music but this time Classic Goldie; which quickly takes him to a comfort zone. “I have a passion for classical music” and with Classic Goldie he was about proving to people who questioned him again what was possible. Maybe this has been the aim of Goldie’s life, combined with an experimental streak and a love to pursue the new unfound, unseen and unheard. Pushing the envelope with whatever he does.

Not being able to read music, although understanding arrangements, he was already using different time signatures and had his foot in the door. “This is all part of our evolution”, Goldie understands where he has come from and is calling everyone out to understand it as well, be it in music or art he knows his history.

NoSR X PW jacquard blazer and dogtooth shirt

Given his orchestra he wants to integrate and see what it can really do. Challenge music. With a million concepts ready to go it’s just about pushing it forward, “Classic music is a great reminder to electronic musicians”. With absolute geniuses that could write entire music in their minds without even hearing a note, it’s about explaining something which can be translated. Even now Goldie still wants to seek sounds rather than engineer.

With the upcoming Timeless project in which Goldie will re-embark, once again, upon Timeless with a full orchestra, maybe this could be something that we see in the near future. Being an artist, not an engineer or critic, Goldie is free to follow what he sees as his vision.

The album hasn’t been homework for Goldie; it has been an experience. With certain songs being more like pictures of times and places, such as Sea of Tears which provokes memories of Miami and receiving a letter from home, this song caused an abrupt stop to his new found life in the States, Goldie found himself on the beach making recordings of the sea. This recording was then to become part of the track itself and as Goldie describes it, part of his emotional disclosure. Describing it as his “Seancic” method, please Oxford let’s have a dictionary update.

For Goldie the album has simply been about ideas and an achievement. Bringing creative ideas to the table and achieving the best between the faith and technology. He has simply included tracks which still makes his hair stand on end.

These are his memories, his history which he has laid out for you. He wanted it to be songs not just loops, a structured finished song that can be listened to as an album and with the remastering he’s listening to sounds he’s never even heard and hearing something new.

Saying the songs on the album has been about his personal development and about not creating music to dance to. But music to listen to. Saying this is his memory Goldie looks back to paper over
technology and wants his music to be written down, he wants it to be there. To leave his mark in sound as well as in art. For a man approaching the latter half of his life Goldie is showing no signs of slowing down “Am i gonna retire? Like fuck, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

It’s important for everyone to look at Goldie as someone who is. He exists, and be it from his past, he is someone who has not only left his mark on us be it through music art or even if you just saw him on Come Dine With Me you can trust me from spending an hour with this man that in his eyes this is just the start and everything he’s achieved so far was part of his education.

With culture being so disposable Goldie finishes by saying “I am not disposable.”

Goldie’s album “The Alchemist - Best of Goldie 1992-2012” is available now .

No comments:

Post a Comment