Fat Planet - Harold Budd "Avalon Sutra"

04.08.05

a large thanks to david sylvian's samadhi sound for sending fat planet copies of their two new releases - akira rabelais' 'spellewauerynsherde' and harold budd's 'avalon sutra'. i've been a huge fan of sylvian's work for over two decades, thanks to my sister's early interest in his work under the japan guise. it's therefore a treat to find sylvian putting together his own label to release such beautiful, eclectic music. both artists would loosely fall under a 'contemporary classical' banner, but i found that phrase inherently problematic - primarily because it is it's own paradox. rabelais' religious, vocal work takes its source from field recordings from the 60s and 70s, treated and processed forty years later. in this treatment, rabelais has used his own bespoke audio filtering software, which gives you an indication of where rabelais sits in the pantheon of composers. unhappy with any 'off the shelf' or freeware titles, rabelais instead took the time to make his own. the above track is not from the album, rather from his 2003 release '...benediction, draw' on orthlorng musork.

harold budd is a little more well known to me, as i used to own and reguarly enjoy his collaboration with the cocteau twins, the 1986 album 'the moon and the melodies'. this new album, 'avalon sutra', took me back there and - with it's combination of simple piano music and electronic ambience - is a beautiful reminder of a space that exists outside of popular, contemporary or classic music. there are far too few composers that can confidently both master the form and simultaneously cast off any outmoded cultural assumptions of what 'classical music' represents. budd acheives this with stunning results. characteristically for sylvian (who also appears on this album), the album is beautifully packaged and comes with a 2nd CD featuring an extended remix from akira rabelais. the above track, not from this release, is taken from the 2000 album 'the room'. check out the epitonic page for an additional fila brazilia mix of the title track.

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