Goldie is jungle's most recognizable face. More than any other artist he is synonymous with drum 'n' bass. Aside from owning Metalheadz, a label at the forefront of the genre's development, he has attained public notoriety by producing Timeless, one of the most important LPs of jungle's first five years. Tracks like the moving, urban, epic tale of "Inner City Life"--a tale told in three movements--are among the tunes that define what jungle is. Others, like "Saint Angel," in which Goldie collaborates with fellow production wizards 4 hero, throb with virtually subliminal bass and electronic snarls. Other subdued and equally inspired items, including "State of Mind," combine live upright bass and drum instrumentation with the soulful wails of guest vocalist Lorna Harris. Timeless is exactly as the title implies--a classic. --Daniel Shumate
Review by John Bush
Respected by the underground for his production skills and lauded by the press for his star potential, Goldie's album debut proved he was no fluke on either count. But from the first few minutes of Timeless, new listeners might wonder what's so different about jungle and its first superstar. The sweeping synths and lilting female vocals that form the intro to the title-track opener could be taken from any above-average house anthem. All questions are answered, however, once the beat kicks in. Manic, echoey percussion rolls around and through the song while a muscular dub bassline pounds additional sonic territory. The beat fades in and out, appearing and re-appearing with all the stealth of a charging rhino. The seven other tracks are just as uncompromising, even adopting a hip-hop beat for the R&B flavor of "State of Mind." Though jungle might be jarring for first-time listeners unused to mid-tempo melodies functioning as a bed for hyperspeed beats, Timeless makes it a much smoother ride.