Ring Of Saturn
"Hello? Earth to [B]Goldie[/B]? Are you receiving us? Your signal's fading, old chap! You're going off the radar! Return to Terra Firma immediately! Don't be a fool!"...
Hoxton, we have a problem. That was the last communication heard on the black box recorder before Goldie's 'Saturnz Return' mission set the controls for the heart of his own angst-ridden rectum, only to crash-land in prog-rock hell. But having apparently put the whole drum'n'bass movement in jeopardy with his ambitious but foolhardy flights of fancy, miraculously the former mission leader has survived to fight another day.
A modest 40-minute 'mini-album', 'Ring Of Saturn' sees our hero back in his natural habitat, immersed in the frantic, speed-crazed breakbeats and warped dubscapes on which he built his reputation. Instead of sailing topographic oceans, we're shooting the rapids on the visceral, meaty, beaty likes of 'Judged By Colour' and 'Unkle'. The drum'n'ice opera odyssey that never ends has been abruptly scaled down to a more potent playlet without losing any of its spirit of sonic adventure.
Meanwhile, from 50-odd minutes, 'Mother' is now a positively minimalist seven and its primal scream therapeutics are all the more affecting for it. Christ, 'What You Won't Do For Love' has even got a tune, laced with hazy horns and soul diva emotion. But just when you thought Goldie was getting a bit too liberal with his rediscovered earthly cheer, 'Kaiser Selsek''s abrasive, squawking syncopated groove is like an injection of nasty drugs and at least half as addictive.
He only had 40 minutes to save his reputation, but Goldie has pulled it off heroically. God bless esoterica.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday