The man with the golden teeth has a lot to answer for: a pretentious drum ‘n’ bass concept album (double album, actually), an hour-long “symphony” with nary a decent hook, idiotic Rick Wakeman-style pronouncements about how jump-up jungle is bad because it isn’t artistically advanced, even though the most simplistic, formulaic jump-up track is about 20 times more enjoyable than the god-awful wankery of said “symphony.” Yet even if he never subjects another snare sample to the endless splintering that once made him the most beloved junglist on the planet, Goldie’s earned his place in dance history by creating some of its hardest knockin’ beats. He pretty much invented the “darkside” sound that preceded jungle’s mainstream breakthrough in the early 90s, with tracks like “Terminator” and “Manslaughter,” and when he sets his sights on the dance floor–as he’ll do in his DJ set here this weekend–his aim is usually true. Since embarrassing himself and anyone who bought his 107-minute 1995 debut, Timeless, with 1998’s Saturnz Return–as critic Keith Harris once put it, “the Ishtar of drum ‘n’ bass,” with “contributions” from David Bowie and Oasis’s Noel Gallagher–he’s slowly begun to redeem himself. If most of the best moments on the 1999 remix EP Ring of Saturn came from other people, most notably Grooverider in a demonic overhaul of “Temper Temper,” the new Incredible Sound of Drum ‘n’ Bass (Ovum/Ruffhouse) showcases the man doing what he does best: playing other people’s records. It’s a two-CD DJ mix of mostly acknowledged classics, including Alex Reece’s “Pulp Fiction,” Doc Scott’s “Here Comes the Drumz,” Codename John’s “Warning,” Shy FX’s still-unbelievable “Bambaataa,” and the two early Goldie masterworks named above. This is hardly the “next level” he keeps claiming to reach via his original albums, but in this realm he’s still got an engagingly raw style. Monday, 9:30 PM, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn; 312-923-2000 or 312-559-1212.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Rankin.