Thursday, July 26, 2007

He Spoke It Better



By Jonathan Rothman - Exclaim! - Canada
Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Gaudi is an Italian-born, UK-based producer, composer and arranger with an eclectic discography full of dub-infused surprises.

This time out, he uses sacred vocals from the late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (“the Bob Marley of Pakistan”), revered as a master of Qawwali, the devotional Sufi music of the subcontinent.

Dub Qawwali balances the bouncy tones and sampled wonder of dub reggae with Khan’s trademark vocals, in this case newly discovered recordings from late ’60s/early ’70s studio sessions in Pakistan, around which Gaudi was entrusted to compose new music.

Standout tracks like album opener “Bethe Bethe Kese Kese” plays off Khan’s more contemplative side, with backing tablas, flute and Sarangi (Indian fiddle), while “Ena Akhiyan Noo” blends the sublime vocals with easy dancehall and dub.

What’s your connection to the man and his music?
My connection is that of an explorer inspired by the work of a great master. My aim from the start was to create something fresh while staying true to the essence of the material: Nusrat’s vocals. [I now have] an even greater respect for his music, what he achieved, and is still achieving, with and through his music: touching and moving people the world over regardless of colour or creed.

He knew that music is the only truly international language and an amazing way to break down barriers and prejudice. The difference is that he spoke it better than most.

What about Qawwali music compels you to give it the dub/reggae treatment?
I must admit to having a natural compulsion to give everything the dub/reggae treatment — in all my 11 album releases you can definitely spot it. However, in this case I felt this urge was fully supported by Nusrat.

Sufism teaches peace, love and tolerance, something for which Nusrat was a very active and global ambassador. This is what I have tried, in my way, to convey through this album — a musical melting of boundaries and unification through song.

[Listen to samples: http://www.amazon.com/Dub-Qawwali-Gaudi/dp/B000RHRG4O ]

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, I have listened to this album and i have immediatelly ordered a copy,.... it is really really good!!! Gaudi managed to create an incredible balance between Nusrat's unique voice and the most solid-based Reggae/Dub!!! Highly reccomended. Luke S.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful!! It is in my CD player in "heavy rotation" and i can't stop playing it!!! Really respectful, lush and very well produced! Robert Farooq Natekar

Anonymous said...

A fantastic music project!!!!!!! Food for my ears! Thanks Master Nusrat, thanks Gaudi! Incredible collaboration! Bernard F.

The Groove Reviewer said...

This is one of the top world music albums that I have heard in a long time ... there are so many `world fusion' projects out there and so many of them fall short of the mark... Dub Qawwali has most definitely exceeded expectation for me... not only is it musically beautiful but also original in it's combining of old and new, east and west, sacred and secular... not a project to be undertaken by the faint hearted but an album that can be enjoyed by anyone.

To make this album Gaudi was given access to rare and unreleased vocal recordings of `The Emperor of Qawwali' Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan from the 60's and 70's by Khan's former record label Rehmat Gramophone. With them he has created, in my opinion, something really very special. What struck me first about this production is the seamless integration of old vocals and brand new musical composition... it sounds as if the tracks were voiced yesterday by Nusrat specifically for the project, not 35 years ago on the other side of the world for another purpose. This for me is a testament not only to Gaudi's skill as a producer but also to his musical sensitivity and respect for the work of this great Qawwal.

Sceptics of this project needn't be... what may be required is a little lateral thinking ... the spiritual cultures of Sufism and Rastafarianism may not immediately seem to be natural partners, most obviously in the musical manifestation of their beliefs... however at closer inspection I believe there is a strong commonality..
...The reaching of spiritual highs and ecstatic states through musical expressions of peace, love, tolerance and the celebration of a greater guiding force is most certainly common to both ...even if the tempo and instrumentation is different... To explore this in music is not only courageous but requires a sensitivity and respect for both cultures that I believe is 100% present in Dub Qawwali.
10/10

Thursday, July 26, 2007

He Spoke It Better


By Jonathan Rothman - Exclaim! - Canada
Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Gaudi is an Italian-born, UK-based producer, composer and arranger with an eclectic discography full of dub-infused surprises.

This time out, he uses sacred vocals from the late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (“the Bob Marley of Pakistan”), revered as a master of Qawwali, the devotional Sufi music of the subcontinent.

Dub Qawwali balances the bouncy tones and sampled wonder of dub reggae with Khan’s trademark vocals, in this case newly discovered recordings from late ’60s/early ’70s studio sessions in Pakistan, around which Gaudi was entrusted to compose new music.

Standout tracks like album opener “Bethe Bethe Kese Kese” plays off Khan’s more contemplative side, with backing tablas, flute and Sarangi (Indian fiddle), while “Ena Akhiyan Noo” blends the sublime vocals with easy dancehall and dub.

What’s your connection to the man and his music?
My connection is that of an explorer inspired by the work of a great master. My aim from the start was to create something fresh while staying true to the essence of the material: Nusrat’s vocals. [I now have] an even greater respect for his music, what he achieved, and is still achieving, with and through his music: touching and moving people the world over regardless of colour or creed.

He knew that music is the only truly international language and an amazing way to break down barriers and prejudice. The difference is that he spoke it better than most.

What about Qawwali music compels you to give it the dub/reggae treatment?
I must admit to having a natural compulsion to give everything the dub/reggae treatment — in all my 11 album releases you can definitely spot it. However, in this case I felt this urge was fully supported by Nusrat.

Sufism teaches peace, love and tolerance, something for which Nusrat was a very active and global ambassador. This is what I have tried, in my way, to convey through this album — a musical melting of boundaries and unification through song.

[Listen to samples: http://www.amazon.com/Dub-Qawwali-Gaudi/dp/B000RHRG4O ]

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, I have listened to this album and i have immediatelly ordered a copy,.... it is really really good!!! Gaudi managed to create an incredible balance between Nusrat's unique voice and the most solid-based Reggae/Dub!!! Highly reccomended. Luke S.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful!! It is in my CD player in "heavy rotation" and i can't stop playing it!!! Really respectful, lush and very well produced! Robert Farooq Natekar

Anonymous said...

A fantastic music project!!!!!!! Food for my ears! Thanks Master Nusrat, thanks Gaudi! Incredible collaboration! Bernard F.

The Groove Reviewer said...

This is one of the top world music albums that I have heard in a long time ... there are so many `world fusion' projects out there and so many of them fall short of the mark... Dub Qawwali has most definitely exceeded expectation for me... not only is it musically beautiful but also original in it's combining of old and new, east and west, sacred and secular... not a project to be undertaken by the faint hearted but an album that can be enjoyed by anyone.

To make this album Gaudi was given access to rare and unreleased vocal recordings of `The Emperor of Qawwali' Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan from the 60's and 70's by Khan's former record label Rehmat Gramophone. With them he has created, in my opinion, something really very special. What struck me first about this production is the seamless integration of old vocals and brand new musical composition... it sounds as if the tracks were voiced yesterday by Nusrat specifically for the project, not 35 years ago on the other side of the world for another purpose. This for me is a testament not only to Gaudi's skill as a producer but also to his musical sensitivity and respect for the work of this great Qawwal.

Sceptics of this project needn't be... what may be required is a little lateral thinking ... the spiritual cultures of Sufism and Rastafarianism may not immediately seem to be natural partners, most obviously in the musical manifestation of their beliefs... however at closer inspection I believe there is a strong commonality..
...The reaching of spiritual highs and ecstatic states through musical expressions of peace, love, tolerance and the celebration of a greater guiding force is most certainly common to both ...even if the tempo and instrumentation is different... To explore this in music is not only courageous but requires a sensitivity and respect for both cultures that I believe is 100% present in Dub Qawwali.
10/10