gaudi :: bass, sweat & tears
[interchill]   review from derek  

This Italian-born DJ/producer's latest moves like a sleeping beast in a fantasia garden: a hallucinatory, dubbed ritual backed by serious drum beats and layer upon layer of nomadic texturing. A world traveler, by craft and sound, Gaudi explores a host of styles in the context of heady bass tones and emerges with an aural masterpiece. He makes the low-end a home to return to while globetrotting to Spain, Brazil and India, recreating various forms of devotional music in his own homegrown context.

On "Ayahuasca Deep Fall" Gaudi removes the birembau from capoeira and creates a deadly dance, venomous rapture throbbing on the dance floor. Conga-led backfire surrounds a pulsing bass line as he tricks out the one-string instrument, adding a comfortably repetitive hi-hat. On "Babylon Flamenco" he retouches Andalusian folk with light guitar flourishes before commendably reworking Ojos de Brujo's "Quien Engana no Gana." The track loses the dark mysticism of the original while adding a club-ready depth sans tablas.

He then either reconfigures Ott's "Splitting an Atom" or uses the same vocal track on "Sufani" (Ott lifted an Indian vocal for their cut "Smoked Glass & Chrome" that Bob Holroyd used years before on "Adrift in Kerala" from a free-for-use CD, so can't be certain). Gaudi's track has more gusto, though the two tracks both lean toward one constant: exceedingly loud bass. This plays out on "Truthful Old Man," a unique qawwali-esque vocal driven by a gorgeous harmonium. A classically trained pianist by trade, he began experimenting with the Theremin in 1994, apparent on "Theremystical" and "Chant Theremique," both midtempo cuts relying heavily on the hallucinatory. Using this adjective twice in a review only seems natural, as it's a realm Gaudi lives within.

As the name implies, this is an emotional experience. Rooted in chest frequencies, Gaudi's got the heart to take on shifty demons. Through these dark waters he configures a near-scientific equation with no answers, no results, only one determination: to lay low this world with rhythms as foundational, as seismic, as the underlayers of the ground we tread. Rising from this soil is a tree with strange, yet oh-so tasteful, fruit.

ethnotechno rating: 4 out of 5
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  1. Tribalove
  2. Sufani (pick)
  3. Dub It
  4. Babylon Flamenco (Feat. Ojos De Brujo) (pick)
  5. Ayahuasca Deep Fall (pick)
  6. Chaine a Chaine
  7. Ci Fice Lu Mundu
  8. Native Dub
  9. Tutta Pe' Me
  10. ...and the Earth Said: Oh My God!
  11. Kimiyaa e Moraad
  12. Theremystical
  13. Meena
  14. Truthful Old Man (pick)
  15. Chant Thermique