The contrast between Vivien’s high, lilting tones and the deep rumble of the bass is a hallmark of all Goldman’s work, giving a haunting frisson of sex and alienation to songs like “Launderette,” which was produced with PiL’s John Lydon and Keith Levene. Vivien knew John as a fellow reggae fanatic, and he let her use PiL’s studio down time to cut “Launderette,” a song she had improvised over a bass line by Aswad’s George “Levi” Oban.
Bass is also the foundation of the angry anthem “Private Armies”, a favourite of Rock Against Racism, here available in its long album version. “Girls love bass,” Goldman says. “It’s the yang to our yin. Women really respond to the depth and grounding of bass.”