Robin Guthrie / Harold Budd
Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd made music together on and off from the mid-1980s through until a few years ago. This is their final album – it was recorded back in 2013 and left unreleased until November, 2020. A week or so after it was released Budd died.
A lovely tribute to their musical connection hearing this final set of recordings.
I first really connected with what they did together with the soundtrack to White Bird In A Blizzard. No disrespect to the film’s cast and crew but I’ve no desire to ever see it. That score lives on for me as music that found its own home away from whatever images inspired it. That album was one of my favourites of 2014 – so, recorded around the same time as the music we now get to hear on Another Flower. The same sorts of gossamer texturing are felt, the same sparse but warm interplay between guitars and piano – both treated and sonically dampened.
Take Guthrie’s work as part of the Cocteau Twins and Budd’s seemingly-background work in his Eno collaborations, the separate vestiges of what they offered to those two distinct sounds came together so perfectly to make a new warmth. That’s the feel across so much of the Guthrie and Budd collaboration. And most certainly here. Nine instrumental songs, 40 minutes in total, all instrumental – soft, engaging moods – a little hint of late-period Pink Floyd to the guitars at times (After Dark), some film score moments certainly (Perfect Fire) and the most beautiful, quiet, perfect slow-burn intensity (Harlequin Delight). I listen to this and think of the title, Another Flower. This could be the soundtrack to watching a new blossoming. The flower unfurls, same as it ever does, but its frozen in the moment of perfect observation with this album as an accompanying soundtrack. Their music together slowed life down. Made you sit and read an extra chapter, or get up only for that second pot of tea.
R.I.P. Harold Budd. This is a lovely final set of recordings from a wonderful musical partnership. Its liner notes simply state, “Recorded during a rainy summer in Brittany 2013”.
If you’ve heard the duo previously you’ll know what to expect. If this is your introduction many wonderful new moments await you.
You can support Off The Tracks via PressPatron