Robin Guthrie: Angel Falls

With Cocteau Twins having exerted an irrevocable and profound influence on electronic music-making, Robin Guthrie has well earned the liberating “elder statesman” status he now enjoys. So with nothing to prove and the pressure off, he's able to relax and do pretty much exactly what he's done for the past few years: issue one seemingly effortless release after another, whether solo (Continental, Imperial) or in collaborations with John Foxx (2009's Mirrorball) and Harold Budd (2007's Before The Day Breaks and After The Night Falls). Somewhat of an appetizer for the upcoming Carousel, Angel Falls is a fifteen-minute EP containing four reverb-drenched and opulent instrumentals that would sound perfectly at home on a Cocteau Twins recording were Liz Fraser to join in.

An echoing field of Guthrie's immediately identifiable guitar playing cascades through “Camera Lucida,” piano and drum machines flesh out the already grandiose “Red Moon Rising,” and, though brief, the gentle and melancholy setting “Love Never Dies a Natural Death” nevertheless leaves a strong impression. The longest track, “Delicate,” finds Guthrie layering stately guitars against a thick, romantic wall of sound. In truth, you won't hear much on Angel Falls that you haven't heard from Guthrie before but that doesn't make it any less beautiful.

August 2009