The first few weeks of a new year are usually slow burners for the music industry, but thankfully Subjective are here to jump-start 2019 with a technically and musically inventive album.
Subjective is a new collaborative project from Goldie and revered sound engineer James Davidson. After Davidson released music via Goldie’s legendary Metalheadz record label, and working on Goldie’s 2017 release Journey Man, the pair have come together to release Act One: Music For Inanimate Objects. As their CVs suggest, this pair know a thing or two about sound design, and their debut album is a lesson in sonic exploration.
With both of these producers attached, you would think that this album would be hard and heavy, littered with brooding drum n bass beats. In fact, Act One: Music For Inanimate Objects is a surprisingly ambient affair. The fractured, pulsing rhythms are still there, but they have been tamed – designed for headphones rather than the dancefloor. Sweeping strings and shuffling percussion soften the pounding kick drum of album opener “Midnight Monsoon”. “Find Your Light” is a soulful breakbeat ballad that takes you back to the days of Nightmares On Wax. It’s a glorious sunset of a song. “Silent Running” pairs the orchestral brushstrokes with a distant piano, delicately playing a lonely melody.
Subjective couldn’t have picked a more appropriate title for “Re-entry”. As you begin to wander off in your mind to the ambient space, “Re-entry” snaps you back to reality with a pulsating beat, filled with mechanical groans and aches. “I Saw Her Last Summer” is almost familiar; even though you’ve never heard it before. It creeps into your psyche. The bouncing drums and cutting synth stabs are destined to be making summertime memories for every person it touches.
Innovation doesn’t stand still, and neither does Goldie. He is constantly pushing his music forward, finding inspiration from his past – and twisting it into something fresh. Goldie and Davidson’s sound is full and rich, and as Subjective they have managed to create an electronic album drenched in melancholy and distorted nostalgia.