Better Propaganda talks to Gaudi.
betterPropaganda: Please tell us about the Gaudi Project. Who's involved, how long you've been going, what kind of sound, etc.
Gaudi: Gaudi it is me, one person (or thousands people... it depends).
First name: Daniel; Gaudi is my mum surname
Profession: Music Producer
Location: London, UK
Distinguishing Features: Noticeable Reggae Mania
I have started in the early 80's in my native town Bologna, Italy, where from a very early age cultivated my obsession with music by constantly searching for and experimenting with new forms of sounds and grooves. A classically trained pianist with a fascination for anything that could produce sound distortion, my musical foundations were set in electronic and reggae music. Details on www.gaudimusic.com
BP: The title of your album is Bass Sweat & Tears. This suggests pain and joy and that you worked really hard on it! Is this the case?
G: got it! This is precisely what happened during those 3 and 1/2 years of hard work on BST.
BP: It sounds like there are many live instruments going on - where there guests musicians involved?
G: there are 42 musicians (precisely 41 + me) from all around the globe playing all sort of conventional instruments and "non instruments"; example track 15 features an instrument called "Fire organ" (www.orgue-a-feu.com); there is only one in the world and this is the first time that its French creator and performer Michel Moglia has allowed his work to be used in this way. It is also the first time his sound has been captured and released on CD. In the flesh it is an instrument that fills a space 20m by 12m, weighs approximately 2 tons and transforms the heat of flames into sound energy. Thermal exchanges of hot and cold air jets in an array of pipes create an incredible range of vibrational frequencies… amongst its range of voices those of whale song, Tibetan horns, aftrican flutes and aircraft engines, created by fire, electricity and an eccentric 59 years old French man!
Other "no-conventional" instruments features on BST like: Theremin, (www.thereminworld.com), kalabash (water drums), Gawa, Bone Flute, Stones, Berimbao and Shells.
BP: Can you tell us about your recording process?
G: Very complex. Not so much for the long time spent in the studio, but because I'm working with live musicians and creating sounds in almost every other way imaginable other than by computer. Although the tracks are arranged on computer, there's a lengthy process of recording sounds and manipulating them (old school analogue style), before they even get near a small grey box! There's also been a big revisiting process to give each track the "right direction" in order to be –in line- with the rest of the album. The first track was written in year 2000 and the last track in 2004, so in 4 years the directions/flavours/production techniques have naturally evolved so I had to re-open some tracks and modify the Shape; all in all a pretty long process.
BP: There's a very strong dub influence throughout the album. Does that come from living in (South?) London?
G: In my all life, I always had the natural pre-disposition to the sub bass frequencies; they make me feel good.
If you listen to some of my productions, even back in the 80's all my basslines were definitely a little fatter than the usual at that time! I have always had a fascination with sub-vibrational sounds, sometimes I couldn't even hear them, but my studio window was vibrating... for me it was the sign that I was following the "right direction"! My roots as a performer are in reggae and dub music; starting in Bologna, Italy, taking me round Europe and the world and landing me in north west London where I'm now based.
BP: Is there a live show and what does it consist of ?
G: I have 3 different ways to perform: First off, The 'Gaudi - Live Dub Laboratory' which is a new approach to performing live dub; we're an eccentric mix of seasoned performers and newer talent who together present a fusion of human musical skills with technological wizardry!... The sound is best described as roots dub with eclectic global influences, and is created using a mixture of cutting edge and vintage old school technology and acoustic instruments. We all play multiple instruments which makes possible the creation of an unusually wide range of sounds and grooves; On stage and in the lab we are:
Gaudi - Theremin, Moog, Electronic tabla, Tape echoes, Vocals
Omer Marantz - Bass, Guitar, Percussion
Ariel Levinsohn - Turntables, Sampler
Antonio Testa - Kalabash, Didjeridoo, Bone Flutes
Amit Gandhi – Guest vocals
The live dub lab is the tour band for Bass Sweat & Tears, however to accommodate different venues and vibes I'm also performing as the "Tribal Dub Duo" with Antonio Testa – a dub journey fusing electronic and organic instrumentation with fat basslines and eclectic / tribal grooves. I also do solo performances – Live PA / DJ set which is me, decks, vocals and effects... another fat dub / reggae journey.
BP: The album has a very worldly feel. Have you performed around the globe much? Something tells me Japan would be very receptive to your sound.
G: Yes, I have performed in many continents and I have met many talented artist & musicians, all guided by a "universal force", sometimes not only "terrestrial"; probably this is the reason why I give a different interpretation to the tag "world music": it is not "music from the world", for me it is "music FOR the world". I am working for this, and this my mission.
BP: Tell us about Interchill Records and your involvement with them.
G: Well, I simply think that Interchill has a winning formula consisting in 2 main factors:
1. No compromise, they only release material that they truly believe in.
2. The enormous enthusiasm and love that they put into their projects, this is exactly what Bass, Sweat & Tears needed!
BP: Any future projects?
G: I have recently remixed the track "Soul shake down party" by the "guru" Bob Marley which will be released soon by Universal, I have also remixed the Spanish band "Ojos de brujo" which are releasing a remixes album, another remix is on "work in progress" from newyorkese band "Scissors sisters". Bollywood movie "Rog" features the track "Sufani" from my album BST; and in January, a new album will take form in "duet" with electronic UK producer "Tripswitch" called... stay tuned! (www.gaudimusic.com)