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Harold Budd - Through The Hill (with Andy Partridge) CD (album) cover


Harold Budd


Progressive Electronic

2.09 | 4 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Through the Hill is a collaboration album with Andy Partridge that doesn't really set itself apart from anything else or establish itself as anything better than any albums already in Harold Budd's discography.

This album is very light and airy, much like Harold Budd's earlier classic The Plateaux of Mirror, and in fact only seems distinguishable from that album because this time around there is more instrumentation. Despite this, the familiar deep reverb effect on the music and monotonous composition style make it seem like a "part 2" of the aforementioned album.

However, the monotony is only most of Through the Hill, and there are some moments of change that come a bit unexpected. Some tracks on this album give off a Henry Cow (particularly Western Culture) type of avant-garde tonality such as "Anima Mundi" and "Hand 20" that is very unusual for Harold Budd, but he pulls it off very well. In addition, the songs "Mantle of Peacock Bones" and "Bronze Coins Showing Genitals" both sound profoundly similar to traditional Chinese music and even features some of the familiar tuned percussion instrumentation, which he also seems to do quite well. "Ceramic Avenue" is a very laid-back ECM type of jazz-influenced composition based around a relaxed rhythm created by shakers, sounding almost like the rainy mood compositions of Tord Gustavsen or Marcin Wasilewski but unfortunately does not seem complete, like it was rushed during the writing process.

Other than the five tracks that are different in style, Through the Hill is mostly the classic piano-based Harold Budd style that everyone knows. The addition of Andy Partridge to the line-up on this album doesn't really stand out at all while listening, and almost seems to prove that by this time Harold Budd is running out of ideas and simply trying to latch on to the style that made him known in the music world. However, though it's not compositionally very interesting for the most part, Through the Hill should be of great pleasure to people who seriously enjoy The Plateaux of Mirror either for engaged listening or as background music. But for those who are interested in hearing any kind of reasonable development in sound, this album should be passed over.

colorofmoney91 | 2/5 |


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