August 10, 2012

It all began in 1991 at a club night called Rage at Heaven. The rave scene had emerged from acid house and was building its own identity, with pioneer Djs such as Fabio and Grooverider mixing cutting edge sounds with vintage funk and reggae and playing tracks like Carl Craig's seminal 'Bugs In The Attic' at 45rpm instead of 33. The vibe was explosive, the adrenalin was pumping.

This is where well-travelled Walsall born B boy Goldie - a name he got while customising gold teeth - ended up when just from a few years in New York and Miami, taken by his new girlfriend Kemistry and her flatmate, known as DJ Storm.

Rage puzzled him the first time, blew his mind the second and there was no turning back: Goldie the UK B Boy who was hanging out with Nellee Hooper and 3 D pre Massive Attack, gold teeth maker, respected breakdancer and renowned Grafitti artist (his first brush with fame was taking part in 'Bombin', the definite documentary about the 80s grafitti scene) had found his purpose in life. He was going to make music, and his music was going to be played at clubs like Rage.

Soon, Goldie met Mark and Dego - AKA 4 Hero - from Reinforced Records, the reference label of the emerging scene. In exchange of artwork and logo design, he got into their legendary Dollis Hill studio. Under their guidance, Goldie did not only capture the vibe of the music he had heard out, but he added his own touch, inspired by his passion for hip hop, an insatiable musical curiosity. getting the ultimate kick of watching and hearing Grooverider play his first ever track, Goldie grew in confidence and made his first official release for Reinforced, 'Darkrider' in 1992, under the Rufige Kru moniker. Thanks to the expertise he had picked up and his meeting with like-minded producers such as Doc Scott, Goldie was finding his own sound.

His passion and determination were rewarded the following year, and his third Reinforced release. With its dark atmosphere, steely breakbeats and restless vibe, 'Terminator' introduced what was to become a must in jungle production, timestretching. All the DJs followed the path of Grooverider, who instantly played the track when it was given to him. 'Terminator' brought a fresh, darker edge to the scene. Jungle had reached another level.

Through his own Metalheadz imprint set up shortly after, Goldie showcased early releases by some of the most crucial jungle artists; from Doc Scott, Photek and Peshay to Dillinja, J Majik and Optical. The Metalheadz weekly residency at London's legendary jazz club The Blue Note captured the essence of the music to a packed and enthusiastic audience and became a must.

Goldie landed a contract with Pete Tong's offshoot FFRR, part of London Records, and released the sumptuous Timeless, a twisted hymn to urban Britain. Hailed unanimously, the album sold over 250,000 copies, comforting a charismatic, passionate and inspired Goldie as the spokerperson of the hippest scene of the times.

Fame kept rising beyond music. While turning into a bona fide celebrity with acting in cult and mainstream films, taking part of high profile TV shows, and becoming a fixture in the gossip columns, Goldie never ever lost touch with his jungle roots and was often spotted in the middle of the dancefloor at his own club nights, or paying respects to Grooverider or Randall. Nothing has captured better his attachment to the music than his sporadic return to the 'Rufige Kru' moniker for more uncompromising slices of vinyl, such as 'Beachdrifta' backed by a 'Stormtroopaz' VIP mix for the relaunch of Metalheadz in 2001. for the last few years, Goldie has DJed all over the world, still one of the highest profile ambassador of drum and bass.

For Goldie, turning into 'Rufige Kru' is capturing the essence of what makes him so passionate about music: a dark, unsettling, gutsy sound going back to the roots of jungle, made even more potent through state of the art studio production. In 2006, Goldie enrolled young and gifted producer Heist (AKA Strider) to help him deliver his ultimate tribute to the scene that captured his heart and soul over fifteen years ago: a Rufige Kru album, 'Malice In Wonderland' the first artist album ever for Metalheadz. Get ready for a treat


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