In the Heartbreakers series, we look at the dance floor tearjerkers that make your night special, whether that's at the height of your high or the plateau. Electronic music has the power to break hearts and this is an appreciation of the songs that do that. For this edition we asked D&B don Adam F to wax lyrical about an old classic that changed everything for him.
When THUMP asked me to write some words about a track that really moved me and one that holds special memories, I had to choose Goldie's "Timeless" (from the album of the same name). Comprising "Inner City Life", "Pressure", and "Jah", the original version "Timeless" stretched over 21 minutes, and was produced by Goldie with Diane Charlemagne on vocals.
From the moment the track starts, Goldie sets the mood: you can feel the emotion in the strings and in Charlemagne's vocal, depicting the fight and struggle to succeed. The expertly crafted breaks, the engineering of the track, and the arrangement of the strings were genuinely groundbreaking at the time. Listening back now, it's clearly a classic, one of the few legendary records that will stand the test of time.
The track was a huge, huge influence on me, I once heard someone say it was like the "Sgt. Pepper" or "Unfinished Sympathy" of drum and bass. And I think that's right. When it dropped, it was a massive moment for British dance music, and the impact on my life as a producer, artist and performer, was immense. It takes me back to my first clubbing days at the the Blue Note, which is where I first heard it. It was long before the Shoreditch and Hoxton people know now, and the club was out on its own, both geographically and culturally, and "Timeless" was a product of that era, that desire to break from the norm. I was into the Yellow Jackets, a jazz group that Goldie had turned me onto, particularly the freestyle element of what they did, and how they explored different arrangements, how they guided us towards a freedom that led us away from the areas of jungle and breakbeat that had become somewhat formulaic.
At the time I was making my first album, Colours released on EMI/Positiva, Technology wasn't easily available like it is now, and making music required a huge investment in both time and money, "Timeless" gave me the courage to make the music I wanted to make, to create electronic music with ambition. Musically, it resonated with my love for film scores, live instrumentation and complex arrangements.
"Timeless" is one of those tracks you can truly perform live and get played by an orchestra, and Goldie proved it last year when he and the heritage orchestra performed it at the royal festival hall festival in 2014. I went to see him perform it again with the full orchestra recently at the Southbank, a completely different setting from the first time I heard it, but an incredible experience all the same!
DJ Fresh & Adam F's "Believer" is out now on Ministry of Sound.