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Date TimeAugust 30, 2019
VoiceHis second album is one of the most outrageous folies de grandeur in music history. Yet the drum’n’bass legend doesn’t care – it helped him recover from his damaged childhood
Goldie: Saturnz Return ended one label execs career
In John Niven’s scabrous 2008 novel Kill Your Friends, there is a scene that dramatises the moment in 1997 when Goldie unveiled his second album, Saturnz Return – specifically, its hour-long opening track, Mother – to his expectant record company. Goldie is lightly disguised as a character called Rage. Like Goldie, he has survived an appalling childhood of abandonment, neglect and abuse to become the biggest star in Britain’s burgeoning drum’n’bass scene. Like Goldie, he has a penchant for gold jewellery and grills and, like Goldie, there is a great weight of music-industry expectation around his forthcoming album: expectation that goes up in smoke the minute he presses play.
“People cross and recross their legs, sip their wine and pray for it to end,” offers the novel’s horrendous narrator, Steve Stelfox. “But it doesn’t. As the track approaches the one-hour mark and nothing has emerged that vaguely resembles a hook, or a chorus, or a recognisable melody, it collectively dawns on us that we’re listening to the sonic representation of someone’s mind coming apart. On a positive note, I’m thinking that I must get the number of Rage’s dealer, because the chang he’s on is clearly fucking phenomenal.”

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