This month’s Carhartt WIP Radio is brought to you by the legendary UK artist Goldie, introducing his nascent label Fallen Tree 1Hundred.
A man who needs little introduction, Goldie earned a reputation as one of the UK’s most celebrated graffiti artists, before becoming known for his work as a producer, DJ and label owner. He brought international renown to the world of drum and bass, via his label Metalheadz, while also releasing genre-defining tracks like Terminator, and the aptly-named debut LP Timeless. In 1994, British music critic Simon Reynolds noted that “Goldie revolutionized jungle not once but three times.”
In the spring of 2020, Goldie unveiled his latest venture, the record label Fallen Tree 1Hundred. A platform for music from “off the beaten track,” as he describes it, initial releases have come from the likes of UK blues and soul artist Natalie Duncan, and Bristol-based multi-genre duo Degrees Of Freedom. The resulting show, curated by Goldie himself, is suitably eclectic, offering an enticing glimpse into the world of a label still in its relative infancy.
As ever, we also sat down for a quick chat with this month’s host, discussing his plans for Fallen Tree 1Hundred, the 25th anniversary of Timeless, and his own plans to release new music.
Goldie, can you tell us about your decision to launch your new label, Fallen Tree 1Hundred?
Goldie: I wanted to try and find music off the beaten track, from artists whose work I really like – singers, vocalists and lyricists. There’s no particular process, it’s just about trying to unearth artists who fly under the radar and deserve to have a light shone on them. Natalie Duncan is a great example. She’s an immensely talented writer, pianist and arranger. Her album Free is the best thing she’s ever written, in my opinion. It’s the music I always knew she had in her.
Do you have a list of musicians you'd like to see on Fallen Tree 1Hundred?
Goldie: Not really no. It’s more about if we find an artist whose voice or lyrics we love, then we’ll reach out.
What was the thinking behind the label’s name?
Goldie: It came from the concept of a big tree with lots of branches, representing the various artists and their music, heavy with the weight of it all. Fallen Tree is very evocative for me.
What stuff do you have in the pipeline currently?
Goldie: For Fallen Tree we’re getting ready to release music from this amazing young lad Little Cigarette, and preparing to get Natalie’s next album project started. For me, there’s a semi-autobiographical 6-episode TV series called Sine Tempore that I’ve co-written. The main focus this year is getting that into production.
Fallen Tree 1Hundred is just about trying to unearth artists who fly under the radar and deserve to have a light shone on them.
How did you select the tracks for your Carhartt WIP Radio show?
Goldie: Simply, a wide selection of the best tracks from the Fallen Tree catalogue as it exists right now. We wanted to give a broad selection of sounds, so it’s quite an eclectic mix, but it sounds great.
What was the first record you bought?
Goldie:Logical Song by Supertramp. The lyrics rang very true for me when I was growing up: “There are times when all the world’s asleep/The questions run too deep/For such a simple man/Won’t you please tell me what we’ve learned/I know it sounds absurd/Please tell me who I am.”
In your career as a producer you’ve released five albums, as well as countless EPs and remixes. Since your collaboration with Skepta in 2017, however, your output has been relatively limited. Do you have new music in the pipeline?
Goldie: Alongside James Davidson [of Submotive], I produced the songs on Osquello’s ‘Something Behind Me EP that we released in October 2020. This year might see some more music from James and I, together as Submotive. Who knows.
Which of your own tracks are you most proud of?
Goldie: All of them! They all got released for the simple reason I was and still am proud of every last one of them.
This April your album Timeless will be reissued for its 25th year anniversary. How do you feel about it today? Would you agree that Timeless lives up to its title?
Goldie: Definitely. I always knew that Timeless would be exactly what it said on the tin.
How do you feel about the current renaissance of D‘n’B, jungle and breakbeat?
Goldie: It feels like a great time, in some ways Metalheadz is in the best place it’s ever been. We’ve got some amazing music in the pipeline. Credit to our label manager Ant TC1.
What do you do when you're not working?
Goldie: I’m a grafter, so I’m always working on something, but if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I have a daily practice of yoga and meditation.
What is your idea of happiness?
Goldie: Where I am right now, in Thailand with my beautiful family.