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Artists to Watch in 2018: Gauci

6 January 2018 | 10:30 am | Camilla Patini

Inspired by Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, Sydney trio Gauci make Italo-disco inspired tunes to make you move and feel.

GAUCI, which consists of brother and sister Antonia and David Gauci and surrogate brother Felix Lush, have been supplying us with a sumptuous mix of disco, post punk and pop since mid 2016. Antonia is a rising producer and sound engineer in her own right (who came out earlier this year as a solo artist under the moniker LEFTENANT). She has worked alongside people like Will.I.Am, and DMAs, while David and Felix are involved in post-punk outfits PUBLIQUE and DEATH BELLS. Their combined sound in GAUCI draws heavily on the influence of Italo/disco legends GIORGIO MORODER and DONNA SUMMER.

Their first release, ‘Hurry’, is drenched in subtle reverb, and features an immersive, enveloping disco beat. Antonia Gauci enters the song as though slipping into a stream: ‘It’s getting harder to breathe / I wake at midnight / cold fantasy,’ she sings.

This song doesn’t express emotions so much as conjure them. Its diffuse vocals create an ominous, urgent feeling that is reinforced by the ambiguity of the lyrics. ‘I feel it’s coming / And it’s after me,’ sings Gauci. It's not clear here what the ‘it’ refers to, but the song’s sumptuous reverb is effective in creating an almost physical space in which listeners can lose themselves. The slightly menacing line ,‘You better hurry / You better hide,’ (soaring on the last syllable), will linger in your mind for days.

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‘Taking Over’ is the Sydney trio's latest track. It features a fairly long opener, filled with bongos, claps and funky synths, which build and layer like cresting waves. The vocals don’t come in until a full minute and forty seconds later, but it hardly feels like waiting – the music washes over you like magic.

What might be most impressive about this song is the way Gauci’s voice seems to stretch out across it, as her lyrics build with hypnotic repetition. An effect as subtle as the slow release of a pressure valve precedes the chorus shortly afterwards, adding to this effect.

The lyrics throughout are ambiguous enough for the listener to project onto them whatever they please, and this is arguably what makes them so good. The repetition of lines becomes so overwhelming you’re given the sense that there’s more emotion here than the lyrics can contain. Ultimately, you just have to succumb to the music, as it commands you to move and feel with the trio.

GAUCI make every sound count. Nothing is wasted, and nothing is unnecessary, and every waveform earns its place in the final, immaculate product. Having played a few shows around Sydney in 2017, including VOLUMES festival, it's clear the trio are slowly but surely finding their feet. It's their steady, considered approach that makes each release worth the wait; they're in no rush, and because of this, they maintain that high quality of dance music we've come to expect from them. With some shows already in the bag for 2018, GAUCI are bound for big things!

Image: Joe Brennan