MAGNETIC is the exciting new album by London based music producer / musician GAUDI, which features a choice selection of sounds from the catalogue of internationally respected experimental label RareNoise, as well as direct contributions by several top caliber musicians from the worlds of rock, jazz and electronica.
The making of MAGNETIC truly was a creational challenge, even for a man who has been working to dissolve musical boundaries for over 35 years. The initial idea of the project was to compose an album of entirely new music using sounds from the RareNoise catalogue as his ‘orchestra of musicians’; over the course of its development it grew though into a full spectrum artistic interaction with a further array of international music giants, some of which GAUDI has worked in past with.
Best loved and noted to date for his genre blending and high quality dub-centric productions, in MAGNETIC, GAUDI has shown us another aspect of his musical self, other ranges in his musical landscape and he has done it with an all-star cast of supporting musicians.
The list of artists whose sounds were initially chosen by GAUDI from the RareNoise catalogue of releases or who successively added their sounds and skills to the overall project reads like a ‘who’s who’ of musical talent and gives warranted indication as to the quality of the ingredients; They include bass legend and producer extraordinaire Bill Laswell, psychedelic prog-rock bassist Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree fame, drummer Steve Jansen (of Japan fame), Ted Parsons, the drummer from cult band Killing Joke, Roger Eno on piano, Grammy award winning Eric Mouquet (aka Deep Forest) on grand piano, drummer extraordinaire Pat Mastelotto (known for his work with XTC, King Crimson and David Sylvian), celebrated Italian bassist Lorenzo Feliciati, innovatory avant-guard guitarist Eraldo Bernocchi, post-punk experimental guitarist Buckethead (collaborator with Guns ’n’ Roses, Bootsy Collins, Iggy Pop), drummer Nikolaj Bjerre from Lamb, multi-instrumentalist Jamie Saft on bass …to name but a few! (For the full list of featured artists please see below). GAUDI, alongside programming and production, returns to his roots as a pianist / keyboard and Theremin player, playing here his full arsenal of vintage analogue synthesizers.
MAGNETIC is like a tour around the other side of GAUDI, who always had the off-beat of reggae in his step, but since his teenage years also had music from experimental electronica, new wave, krautrock and proto-punk flowing through his veins. Bands like Bauhaus, Tuxedomoon, Yello, Cabaret Voltaire, Devo, Killing Joke, Talkingheads and The Residents informed his early years. For those familiar with GAUDI’s work these influences can be heard in a myriad of different ways in most of his 15 albums to date, but predominantly as flavours amongst the dub textures.
In MAGNETIC, however, he has reversed the polarity, north has become south, there is dub seasoning to be found within, but the body, tone and flavour of this album are another beast altogether. MAGNETIC is a contemporary tribute to the darker side of the 80’s; to psychedelic rock and an era when Sigue Sigue Sputnik dropped proto-punk on the world!
It is not a departure from the GAUDI we know and love, however… MAGNETIC is a celebration of bass in all its guises – there are six world class bass players featured in the album – and GAUDI’s roots as a pianist and self confessed lifelong synth junkie, come up fairly centre stage. His use throughout the album of original, modular and analogue synths, from his big guns: the ARP 2600, Fender Rhodes, Minimoog, Korg MS20 and ARP Odyssey, to the diminutive but no less iconic Casio VL Tone, to his trusty vintage tape echoes and the 24 track analogue tape machine it was recorded on, give the sound an authenticity and integrity right down from the musicians to the mechanics.
MAGNETIC is a both a visual journey of great, but hidden, complexity and richness which yearns to be listened to with closed eyes, but also a voyage across a full spectrum of tempos, from near ambient soundscapes to rocky up-tempos with seamless bridges in between.
MAGNETIC is an album of polarities, spacious yet introspective, dark yet with a hint whimsy, deep and soothing yet fundamentally groovy; it was created both as a homage to the joy music brings and as an act of appreciation for great musicians.
Why ‘MAGNETIC’? From the far reaches of the universe to our solar system and the planets within it, it is the force that keeps everything together. Magnetism moves us, pulls us toward each other, keeps the particles together.
MAGNETIC is the unseen in music, the intangible that draws and holds the notes and the musicians together, and it is, in the end, how the recording of this album ended up: on a magnetic tape.