Using the throbbing bass and hallucinogenic echo of dub reggae as its foundation, the music of worldbeat pioneer Gaudi (Daniele Gaudi Cenacchi) has encompassed countless genres and styles, including Indian classical, jazz, ambient, new wave, and pop.
Active in his native Italy since the early '80s before relocating to London in 1995, Gaudi has released over a dozen albums, including collaborations or remix projects with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Pete Namlook, and the Orb. He's produced or remixed hundreds of artists, ranging from worldbeat acts like Suns of Arqa to pop groups such as Simple Minds and INXS. He's also produced music for myriad television programs and commercials, and has extensively toured across the globe.
Gaudi began his career in the early '80s, playing keyboards for several new wave bands before joining reggae group Bamboo Company. After that band split, Gaudi and three other bandmembers started Raptus, a Beastie Boys-esque hip-hop/punk group who rapped in Italian. Gaudi continued honing his skills as a producer and studio collaborator, and he began working on his first solo project, billed as Lele Gaudi, in 1987. He co-founded production company Tubi Forti and worked with several Italian hip-hop and pop groups, in addition to releasing early Italian house singles as part of projects such as 4T Thieves and National Rare Groove. His debut full-length took several years to surface, as record companies weren't sure how to market an entirely Italian-language ragga album, but Basta Poco was eventually released by Mercury in 1991, receiving MTV exposure for its first single "Malinconico Love." Gaudi began touring internationally, sharing the stage with reggae stars including Ziggy Marley, Maxi Priest, Jimmy Cliff, and many others. By the release of his second album, 1993's Gaudium Magnum, he had shortened his moniker to just Gaudi.
In 1994, he began experimenting with electronic music styles such as trip-hop and drum'n'bass under the name Dub Alchemist, often utilizing a Theremin for additional otherworldliness. He moved to London in 1995 and set up Metatron Studio, as well as the Sub Signal label. As Ultraviolet, Gaudi, and Pauli Atzei recorded an ambient dub album titled Sound of Anatomy. Gaudi became highly active as a remixer, with credits on hit singles by Cool Jack, Mansun, Peter Andre, and others. He recorded music for MTV, the BBC, ITV, and other networks, in addition to numerous commercials. His third album, Earthbound, was released by Antenna in 1999. An ambitious fusion of countless tribal and electronic sounds, the album earned Gaudi worldwide recognition, and was followed by Earthbound in Dub in 2000. Gaudi formed Orchestral World Groove with DJ Pathaan, and worked on several film soundtracks. My Beautiful Laundrette, a soundtrack for a play by Hanif Kureishi, was released in 2002. Gaudi also formed Weirdub with Luca Gatti and Paul Cari; the trio's full-length Recreational also appeared in 2002.
Gaudi's fifth album, Bass, Sweat & Tears, was released by Interchill Records in 2004. It became one of the musician's best-selling albums to date, and tracks from it appeared on dozens of compilations. Gaudi also received acclaim for his remix of Bob Marley's "Soul Shakedown Party," as well as hit singles he co-wrote for Italian pop star Irene Grandi. In 2005, cult ambient label em:t released Gaudi:Testa 1105, Gaudi's collaboration with sound therapist Antonio Testa. Gaudi then worked with ambient techno pioneer Pete Namlook; their album R:sonate was issued by Namlook's label Fax +49-69/450464 in early 2006. He collaborated with artists ranging from electronic dub acts Sounds from the Ground and Ashtech to reggae legends Horace Andy and Lee "Scratch" Perry. However, Gaudi's most acclaimed venture around this time was Dub Qawwali, which featured previously unheard vocals by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan surrounded by Gaudi's innovative dub fusion productions. The album was the beginning of a fruitful relationship between Gaudi and Six Degrees Records, home to other world fusion acts such as Bombay Dub Orchestra and Cheb I Sabbah. Dub Qawwali Remixes followed in 2008, adding the then-fledgling dubstep style to the Gaudi sound, courtesy of a remix by Pinch.
After spending time as a vocal coach for several seasons of The X Factor, Gaudi released No Prisoners in 2010. The album included guest appearances from Michael Franti, Dr. Israel, Dub Gabriel, and many others. The following year, Gaudi began a collaboration with the Orb's Alex Paterson and vocalist Chester Taylor. Dubbed Screen, the group's debut album, We Are Screen, was released by Malicious Damage in 2012. Gaudi's double-CD mix, Everlasting, also appeared that year, on Danish label Iboga Records. All the while, Gaudi continued touring in support of No Prisoners, ending 2012 with a concert at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Follow-up album In Between Times appeared in 2013, featuring guests such as Black Uhuru's Michael Rose, Twilight Circus, Dennis Bovell, and many others. Dub, Sweat & Tears was released in 2014, ten years after Bass, Sweat & Tears. Gaudi kept busy as a vocal coach for The Voice, and produced or remixed songs by Banco de Gaia, Beats Antique, Dub Pistols, Natacha Atlas, and numerous other artists. In 2017, he signed to RareNoise Records and released a 10" single titled "30Hz Dub Prelude." He also teamed up with Youth for an EP named 2063: A Dub Odyssey, issued by Youth's Liquid Sound Design label. Gaudi's debut RareNoise album Magnetic appeared in June of 2017. This was followed by Circuit, a full-length collaboration with Deep Forest. ~ Paul Simpson, Rovi