July 11, 2016

Harold Budd & Hector Zazou - Glyph, 1995

An underheard record from two masters. Trip hop feels like a radical genre departure for both Budd and Zazou, and yet it instantly makes sense upon first listen. Both leave their stylistic fingerprints all over Glyph--Budd's melancholia, Zazou's sinister sensibility--weaving haunted ambient jazz into fizzed out drum loops. Trumpet arrangements by Mark Isham, guitar by Barbara Gogan (with whom Zazou also collaborated on a very good trip hop full-length that I'll be posting at some point), and poetry recitations by Budd. Attains startling heights of opiated beauty ("Reflected in the Eye of a Dragonfly," featuring a wash of pedal steel guitar courtesy of BJ Cole; sinuous grooves on "Pandas in Tandem" and "As Fast As I Could Look Away She Was Still There"). Does exactly what good trip hop is supposed to do, and then some.

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