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Robin Guthrie - Imperial

  by Olga Sladeckova

published: 6 / 5 / 2003

Robin Guthrie - Imperial
Label: Bella Union
Format: CD


Splendid solo album consisting entirely of insturmental music from ex-Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie

This is the first time that Robin Guthrie has ever released an instrumental solo album. Robin Guthrie is widely known as the founder of the Cocteau Twins. The band was formed in 1979 and first celebrated success with their 'Head Over Heels' album in 1983. They went on to become one of the biggest bands of UK music scene in late 80's and early 90's, earning respect from music fans all over the world in the process. The end of the last millennium brought a lot changes to Robin's career. When the Cocteau Twins quietly disbanded at the end of the 90's he took on other music projects. He established his own record label Bella Union with Simon Raymonde, another former member of the Cocteau Twins, and formed a new band Violet Indiana with Siobhan de Mare. 'Imperial' is part of this new era of Guthrie's musical career and is his current project at the moment. There is a real feel of distance to the album that comes right from the beginning. Spacy guitars on 'Imperial', the first track, literally shift you far away from presence. If you have paid attention to the cover of the album before playing the music you may find that it beautifully harmonizes with the music. A part of a naked woman's body. presumably resting somewhere far away from everything, easily matches the peaceful and sensational music. Very simple and slow strums on the guitar develop a specific character to them as you penetrate deeper in the album. The following track, 'Freefall', is mainly based around a piano. Every hit of a key appears to be thought through and the slow rhythm gives you the chance to taste each one one after another. 'Crossing The Line' is placed half way through the album and unnoticeably glides into a more serious sound. The alarm-like sound of a piano and a long drawn bell appear in the background and slightly darken the sound. One of my most favourite tracks is 'Into Stressa'. Its constellation of sounds repeated at irregular intervals create an unmistakable character to it. This evolves even more on the following 'Music For Labour'. The final song 'Drift' may feel slightly dim at first. Its almost serious tune creates a wary atmosphere. 'Imperial' could be compared to wine. You 'pour' it out to feel special. You taste it with joy., roll it over your tongue and if you swallow it at the right time it warms you inside. By filtering yourself inside f the music you can discover how endlessly tasty it can be.

Track Listing:-
1 Imperial
2 Freefall
3 Thunderbird Road
4 Tera
5 Crossing The Line
6 Into Stressa
7 Music For Labour
8 Falling From Grace
9 Elemental
10 Drift

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Interview (2003)
Robin Guthrie - Interview
Ex-Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie has recently released a solo album of instrumental music, 'Imperial', and has begun work on a second album with his band Violet Indiana. In our second interview with him, Olga Sladeckova talks to him about both projects

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Gate Cinema, London, 12/6/2006
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