The Alchemist: The Best of 1992-2012

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The Alchemist: The Best of 1992-2012 is an imperfect, overdue anthology of drum'n'bass pioneer Goldie. It's more like an extensive sampling than it is a definitive introduction to the man's work. The emotive "Inner City Life," which charted in his native U.K., appears in the inferior form of the Baby Boys' (Goldie and Photek) downtempo mix. Other ephemera resurfaces unexpectedly -- there's not one but two tracks that appeared on the soundtrack for the 1997 film The Jackal, including a forgotten remix of post-grunge band Bush. Two Saturnz Return-era singles are represented with Armand Van Helden and Grooverider remixes rather than Goldie's originals. More tracks originate from 2009 than from any other year; though they're well constructed, they're less novel than the majority of the 1992-1997 material that did not make the cut. There's a disc-and-a-half's worth of crucial selections. "Terminator" (1992), where Goldie developed the time-stretching method, still bends the mind. The presence of the low-slung "In My Soul," a 1993 collaboration with 4hero as Internal Affairs, is a pleasant surprise. Other no-brainer career highlights include two tracks from the Rufige Cru EP Darkrider (1992), Metalheads' "Angel" (1993), Goldie's mix of Björk's "Isobel," and Doc Scott's mix of "Kemistry."

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