Daniele Gaudi is an Italian musician, producer, and composer who since 1995 has been based in London. He has released some 17 albums, mostly under his own name but occasionally using pseudonyms, making his debut with 1991’s Basta Poco. Musically his biggest influence is the off-beat of reggae, or more specifically dub. Add electronica and world music into the mix and you have a heady collision of styles that makes for a full and interesting listen.
The gestation of Magnetic started with the unusual idea of using samples of music from Rare Noise’s back pages to compose entirely new pieces. This evolved until live recordings by a long list of international guests were added into the mix, all of whom Gaudi has collaborated with in the past.
Being a disciple of the dub beat means that the album is heavy on the sonorous bass lines, and no less than six bass players were used or sampled during this languorous record, including Bill Laswell, Colin Edwin, and Tony Levin.
We are told that “bands like Bauhaus, Tuxedomoon, Yello, Cabaret Voltaire, Devo, Killing Joke, Talking Heads and The Residents informed his early years”, and he has taken these influences and with his ear for a slinky bass line and a simple melody has crafted an amalgam of sounds that while dub heavy goes beyond that corral to venture forth into the spacious mind. Light up a big one and float off to the dub space groove of opener 30Hz Dub Prelude, or the curiously Bauhaus like rhythm section of Opus 12, No. 7, over which our intrepid explorer has laid all manner of star crossed electronica, borne on the solar wind.
Inevitable comparisons to The Orb arise, especially on Nocturnal Sonata, and while Gaudi certainly inhabits the same smokily pungent universe, there is a freshness, variety, and a spring in the step here that the dub masters have not manged in decades. Magnetic will not send you into a deep coma, or “soporific on the edge of snore”, as I once described The Orb’s recent(ish) collaboration with Dave Gilmour.
A hoarder of vintage synths, Gaudi tinkers with a fair few of them on this record, just look at the credits! However, he never overdoes it, and the gadgetry is used sparingly. It is never the case of the groove being ruined by too many ingredients. He also plays some hypnotically minimalistic piano lines with aplomb, as well as giving us some knowingly sexy lounge jazz lines during the almost symphonic Electronic Impromptu In E Flat Minor. My use of the word “sexy” just there means that this sure ain’t prog, eh?! Oh, and some of the sounds remind me of the incidental music used in the U.K. TV show Dragons’ Den. If you read this Daniele, was it you?
Modular Rondo, which is where the Yello influence is nodding away in the background, ups the bpm, but don’t worry, bangin’ techno this is not, although it might get you tapping your feet enthusiastically for a couple of minutes. The always interesting rhythm section of Colin Edwin and Pat Mastelotto propel Die Ballade Vom Frosch across the Neptune methane pond, and the album ends with Epilogue Leitmotif, nine minutes of expansive space symphony guided by Bill Laswell’s sinuous fretless bass, playing on harmonics and melodic transposition, and one Roger Eno contributes ethereal ivory tinkling, above which a highly Floydian synth line plays tricks with one’s synapses in a “chorus” of sorts. All quite lovely.
This album is new yet at the same time is very comfortable, and like that perfect pair of loafers you bought on holiday last summer, is an instant one hundred percent fit.
01. 30Hz Dub Prelude (7:44)
02. Opus 12, No.7 (5:20)
03. Memories In My Pentagram (5:34)
04. Nocturnal Sonata (6:56)
05. Electronic Impromptu In E Flat Minor (7:33)
06. Modular Rondo (5:07)
07. Die Ballade Vom Frosch (4:54)
08. Epilogue Leitmotif (9:04)
Total Time – 52:23
Gaudi – Minimoog, Arp 2600, Theremin, Fender Rhodes, Korg MS20, Arp Odyssey, Piano & Programming
Bill Laswell – Bass
Colin Edwin – Bass
Steve Jansen – Drum
Ted Parsons – Drum
Roger Eno – Piano
Jamie Saft – Bass
Eraldo Bernocchi – Guitar & Baritone Guitar
Eric Mouquet (aka Deep Forest) – Grand Piano
Tony Levin – Bass
Buckethead – Guitar
Pat Mastelotto – Drum
Masami Akita (aka Merzbow) – Electronic Noises
Mark Aanderud – Piano
Lorenzo Feliciato – Bass
Hernan Hecht – Drum
Coppe’ – Voice
Alessandro Gwis – Piano
Martin Schulte – Electronics
Cyro Baptisita – Jew’s Harp
Nikolaj Bjerre – Drum
Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz – Bass
Roberto Gualdi – Drum
Jan Peter Schwalm – Electronics
Pippo De Palma – Guitar
Terjw Evensen – Electronic Drum
Steve Norris – Guitar
Michele Cavallari – Fender Rhodes
Eyal Maoz – Guitar
Brian Allen – Trombone
Record Label: Rare Noise Records
Year of Release: 2017
Gaudi – Facebook