At 11.30 pm, Tuesday 29th November 2016 Drum & Bass saw one of its favourite sons Mark Goodings pass. Mark was one half of production outfit Hidden Agenda working with his brother Jason.
Before writing this feature I had to think carefully if I had the right permissions to do so. Could I add anything to the discussion that hadn’t already been said? Music is deeply personal and anyone who has been touched by the influence of Hidden Agenda will have times, faces and experiences intricately interconnected to it.
In its alternate definition permission feels apt to describe Hidden Agenda. Taking an early lead, these guys showed everyone else that it was possible to do anything with this music. They created parallels and connected influences. They showed a generation of would be producers that you were only limited by your creativity, not convention.
Mark and Jason were a rogue satellite transmitting from Gateshead, imposing their groove across Drum & Bass. As a genre Drum & Bass can be a series of contradictions, priding itself on innovation yet as guilty as any style of churning out carbon copy and identic tracks. Hidden Agenda served to redress this. Solitary and individual in their execution of cool.
Hidden Agenda were amongst the original pioneers of what we now recognise as Drum & Bass. Part of a formidable Metalheadz inner circle alongside the likes of Goldie, Photek, Source Direct and Dillinja, the originators of intelligent grown up breakbeat music at higher tempos.
Hidden Agenda have left us an enduring legacy. Not just in the work itself, but as an influence that permeates through the Drum & Bass continuum. When I listen to Joe Seven’s ‘All Prologue’ I hear the poise of Hidden Agenda. When I listen to Blocks & Escher’s ‘Shiver’ I hear a dynamic that I first heard from Hidden Agenda, Echoes of their output continues to wave through the music. Refined, defined and earnest.
“They’re talented boys! Fusing old-skool jazz, with a touch of the Miles stylez. They deal with a genre which was previously missing from Metalheadz. Our Urban Break-beat representatives up north”. – Goldie on Hidden Agenda
HIDDEN AGENDA RECOMMENDED LISTENING
Hidden Agenda – Channel – Metalheadz (1998)
Hidden Agenda – Fish Eggs – Reinforced Records (1998)
Hidden Agenda – The Flute Tune – Metalheadz (1995)
Hidden Agenda – The Sun – Creative Source (1997)
Hidden Agenda – Dispatches #1 – Metalheadz (1996)
Hidden Agenda – Dispatches #2 – Metalheadz (1996)
Hidden Agenda – Rogue Soul – Creative Source (1996)
Hidden Agenda – Redress – Reinforced Records (1999)
Hidden Agenda – Vindication – E.C.I. (1998)
Hidden Agenda – Get Carter – Metalheadz (1995)