Somnambule - Writing About Music

Gaudi:Testa ~ Continuum

Although certainly ascribable to the visual brand imposed by Designers Republic, there was always something both a little mysterious and slightly anonymous about the original em:t records oeuvre. It looks like the label’s reincarnation is happily heading down the same path. The cover of Gaudi:Testa’s Continuum appears to be a photographic close-up that might be organic or metallic, though it’s not clear which. In its abstraction it’s reminiscent of the cover of 4 Hero’s one-off outing as Jacob’s Optical Stairway. However, there are no Detroit-influenced space-break infusions here. Instead, Prologue-Helictite Labyrinth supplies hothouse atmospheres that verge on the equatorial. These balmy spaces are inhabited by birdsong and wavering tones that slough slowly in and out of range. Like many of their em:t predecessors, spatial awareness plays a key part in the experience, even as rhythms and voices make their appearance. Much of the rest of the album explores a variety of dub-inflected textures and spaces. Redolent of luxuriously elongated, mid-‘90s ambient journeys by the likes of The Orb and Future Sound Of London, Gaudi:Testa could be accused of being retrograde. Seen from a different perspective they’re a part of a wider, deeper continuum...

Colin Buttimer
February 2006
Published by Milkfactory