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After the Night Falls

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Album Review

Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd go back to 1986, specifically The Moon and the Melodies, a collaboration between the Cocteau Twins and the pianist. Guthrie aided Budd on 1988's The White Arcades, and the pair resumed their relationship roughly 16 years later to record the score to Gregg Araki's Mysterious Skin. During the spring of 2006, they recorded together again for five days, resulting in the synchronously released After the Night Falls and Before the Day Breaks. Anyone familiar with anything either musician has done together — or, to a somewhat lesser extent, apart from one another — won't be surprised by their output here. They shouldn't be left unsatisfied, either, as the instrumental pieces are as gorgeous (yet subdued) and expansive (yet intimate) as imaginable. Though this material could just as easily function as a score, it differs from Mysterious Skin in that it is a little more tangible, like there might've been more effort put into fully engaging the listener. As expected, percussion is almost entirely absent, with the exception of an elusive pulse and some very distant snare rolls.

Customer Reviews


I have been waiting for another Harold Budd collaboration that could touch me the way that The Pearl does and I have to say the waiting is over. This album immediately locates it's own special place and drops you there from the first tone. It has such transportive qualities (as does The Pearl) that it's hard and probably innapropriate to talk about it in musical terms even though it is soaked in melody. If I heard no more ambient releases this year apart from this, the last Stars of the Lid album and the last Wes Willenbring album it I would still end the year a happy woman. Reccomended.

The standard by which other ambient artists should gauge themselves by

Too often in this genre, musical content takes a back seat to the digitally effected 'ear candy' of synthesizers, dronescapes and glitches, sadly meandering into pointlessness. This album is the exception as both its production, musical content and overall song structuring and arrangement are wonderfully congruent and speak for the unique chemistry these two artists have, when working together. Both individuals are big names in the music industry, and often big names come with just that-all hype and no substance. Not on this album. It has earned its keep in the halls of musical history. The melodic, drifting pianos and guitars shimmer and glide through the circuits of 5000 thousand dollar reverb units, wafting in and out of every piece on this album like an angel at your bedside. I predict that people will listen to this years from now and appreciate it even more as the hallmark record that it is, in the way that it took time for the masses to appreciate the likes of Erik Satie and Claude Debussy. You may laugh now at my comments, but years from now, you won't be able to tell if this album was written yesterday or twenty years prior, its sound is that timeless. Be warned though: It is contemplative, thought provoking and might just bring tears to your eyes if you've had too many lost loves or a few too many glasses of wine.

Budd And Guthrie Are Brilliant

I am a proud owner of all Budd/Guthrie/Raymond/Cocteau Twins collaborations... this one is a perfect addition to the bunch. The soundscapes created here will move and inspire. What a wonderful, beautiful album...


Genre: Alternative

The American ambient/neo-classical composer who has most closely allied himself with the increasingly sympathetic independent rock underground -- through his collaborations with the Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie -- Harold Budd is also one of the very few who can very rightly be called an ambient composer. His music, a sparse and tonal wash of keyboard treatments, was inspired by a boyhood spent listening to the buzz of telephone wires near his home in the Mojave Desert town of Victorville, CA (though...
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After the Night Falls, Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd
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Customer Ratings