Gaudi – In Between Times (Six Degrees Records)
Musician, composer, record producer and solo artist Gaudi’s music is a fusion of dub, worldbeat and electronica. He’s just released his first new album for three years, one which features Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Michael Rose (Black Uhuru), The Orb & Dennis ‘Dubmaster’ Bovell among others. Check out our review below.
Nope, we’re not talking the mosaic-laying architect from Barcelona. We’re talking about the musician, record producer and solo artist who has worked with, so it seems, everyone from Bob Marley to Mazzy Star, and from Asian Dub Foundation to Desmond Dekker. So, you can put your ceramic adhesive away forthwith.
Like many musicians of his ilk, Gaudi relies heavily on guest vocalists, preferring himself to concentrate on some great backing and full-on instrumentals. In Between Times seems to employ a well-suited mix of reggae, pop, dub & stomp to carry it through and the fusion is very successful.
The album opener, as you’d expect, is probably the most commercial track on the album. With voice from Michael Rose, it’s a decent enough start, but it’s only a few short steps away from the dreaded vocoder. You’d really expect an album of pretty ordinary pop songs after this, but there’s just something about the partially dubbed backing that holds your interest. Lucky really, as instrumental ‘Tamino And The Temple Of Dub’ is something rather special. Again, there’s the stomp drum which plays a major part in the album, there are some clever dubbed panpipe effects and even a stylophone (ah, yes) thrown in for good measure. Gaudi himself pitches in with some falsetto vocals and it turns out to be a decent enough tune to get the album on track.
When Tahar Momoproject contribute to ‘Hurriya’ it’s absolutely superb. Hypnotic chanted vocals and a backing track seemingly borrowed from Depeche Mode’s ‘I Feel You’, it shows incredible promise for the album, particularly when it’s followed by ‘I Start To Pray’, which features mad as a box of frogs Lee Scratch Perry who is enjoying his latest resurgence in the industry at the moment with current collaborators The Orb.
As a stark contrast, there’s some awful stuff on here too. The vocals from Deadly Hunta on ‘Babylon Is Fallin’ are nothing short of comical and barely listenable, you actually have to force yourself to listen to realise how bad they are. Whatever possessed Gaudi to use the vocals is beyond the reasoning of any sane person.
‘Spiritual Orphans’ and ‘Crucial Data’ almost make up for Gaudi’s misdemeanour, with the later a dubbed, reggae, space-pop affair as good as anything on the album, and ‘Unlimited Possibilites’ closes the album in fine style. There’s a pointless ‘hidden track’ which really isn’t worth the effort of finding, so don’t bother.
A ‘nearly’ album of near amazing tracks and near shocking tracks where maybe two or three could have been omitted, but it’s better than laying broken tiles.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog. Paul is working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, the BBCs longest running alternative music programme. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow hiapop Blog on Twitter, @hiapop.