Gaudi – In Between Times (Six Degrees Records)
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.
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, 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 him with some falsetto vocals and it becomes a decent enough tune to put 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 amazing tracks and shocking tracks where maybe two or three could have been omitted, but, it’s better than laying broken tiles.
Published on Louder Than War 27/09/12 here