No Prisoners

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No Prisoners is something of a departure for Gaudi; while his trademark dark, dubby production style is still very much in evidence, there's a lightheartedness to his sound on this album that is quite new -- it's almost as if he's been listening to Fatboy Slim and Bassnectar and absorbing some of their gleeful rhythmic abandon. When combined with his usual darker approach, the results are thrilling: there's an undeniable big beat element at work on both "Bad Boy Bass" and "There's Enough" (the latter marred only slightly by guest rapper Michael Franti's dourly smug political correctness), and "Back to Baia" is a funky jazz workout with a nice focus on Omer Marantz's virtuosic bass work. Elsewhere his reggae tendencies are given free rein, to typically fine effect: the sturdy and dubwise steppers rhythm of "Serious Ting"; the heavyweight rockers of "No Time" (featuring a nice cameo appearance by Dr. Israel); the creepy "Sleng Teng" update "Strictly Goodness" (featuring a very fine DJ turn from Kenny Knots). But perhaps best and most fun of all is the punningly titled "Hotel Caledonia," an energetic dubstep workout that prominently features Highland bagpipes. Only the slightly tedious Middle Eastern funk of "Oud We Think We Are?" fails to uphold the otherwise thoroughly high standard of funk and groove on this brilliant album.

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