Out next month...
Jon Fletcher
20:53 8th June 2006

We swear our heart skipped more than a beat. 'Continental' is Robin Guthrie’s second solo instrumental album and Robin Guthrie (for those who don’t know but how could you not know?) helped create some of the most shockingly sublimely otherworldly music of the 1980’s (and arguably 90’s too) as part of the Cocteau Twins. And, we had forgotten just how utterly captivating his music could be. That fuzz guitar drenched, literally drowning, in FX. Those melodies- simultaneously ecstatic and heartbreaking but then isn’t all ecstasy tinged with heartbreak, especially in its memory and reflection.

And shamelessly, we had forgotten. Chasing other trails and planets, missing the demise of his former group we had actually forgotten about these worlds. So, for these ears, this feels like a return home, a reminder of those early days, those times when you first realise the awesome power of music.Look at some of the titles. ‘Conquering The Romantic’, ‘The Day Star’, ‘Radiance’ and ‘As I Breathe’. All you need to know is there.

Has there ever been a guitarist as singularly evocative as this?We mean, at the end of the day, being recognised as belonging to the canon of greats is usually an early tombstone or certainly a sign that the recipient is already firmly zombiefied. Musicians are more often feted for prowess than feeling but, shorn of vocals (well not completely), Guthrie’s painterly style comes even more to the foreground, a mixture of Chagall and Casper David Friedrich - luminous and lonely.

He sounds more adrift now, despite a strong rhythmic backing but all those unique flourishes are still in place not least his ability to use volume in a singularly unaggressive manner. For better this gave us My Bloody Valentine, for worse, a million derivative shoegazing bands.

In short it’s gorgeous - a child’s-eye view of the infinite. This is music to take you out of yourself. Go play in this technicolour pool.