INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Age DECEMBER 4, 2009 - by Chris Johnston
HAROLD BUDD: THE WHITE ARCADES
Is the point to be moved to another place? I remember the icy, ambient electronic music on Warp in the early 1990s and their whole thing about the still meditations they were making was "travelling without moving". The producers - Aphex Twin, Black Dog, B12 - were teaching a new generation how to listen to music that did nothing and it was possible to be transported far away by minimal means. Then the era's great mixologists, Coldcut, used a dark, ambient track (Balthus Bemused By Colour) from this acid-house era Harold Budd record, which they blended into warehouse jungle.
Budd would approve. The sixty-year-old Californian made his most experimental piano-based music at the start of his career - single-note drones - but had to stop himself because he had already "disappeared into zero". The White Arcades was done with Robin Guthrie of The Cocteau Twins and Brian Eno. Those two made The Plateaux Of Mirror and The Pearl in the '80s. I played The White Arcades recently before one of those intense November rains, dark as night in the day, the noise and the wet and the fury, turning it up louder and louder still,, the music trembling and immense and I succeeded right then in moving to another place without going anywhere at all.