The chief sound architect of Cocteau Twins and Violet Indiana, Robin Guthrie and his reverb-drenched guitar textures have had a significant impact on alternative music since the early ’80s. Numerous acts have emulated his style, and several others — including Felt, the Gun Club, the Veldt, Ian McCulloch, Lush, and Lift to Experience — have enlisted his production skills.
Along with Cocteau Twins partner Simon Raymonde, Guthrie launched the Bella Union label during the ’90s for splinter projects and artists they wanted to help nurture. Guthrie continued running the label during Violet Indiana’s late-’90s/early-2000s run.
In 2003, he released his first solo album for the label, the completely instrumental Imperial. Another instrumental album, Continental (Darla), as well as the Everlasting EP (Rocketgirl) followed in 2006.
He has frequently collaborated with pianist Harold Budd, dating back to 1986’s The Moon and the Melodies and Budd’s 1988 album, The White Arcades. The two scored Gregg Araki’s Mysterious Skin and released a pair of albums simultaneously — After the Night Falls and Before the Day Breaks — on Darla in 2007. A year later, he scored the Dany Saadia-directed film 3:19; the score was also issued on Darla.
Yet another ambient album for Darla, Carousel, came in 2009, as well as the Angel Falls and Songs to Help My Children Sleep EPs and the full-length Mirrorball, a collaboration with John Foxx. Guthrie’s 2010 activities were led by the Sunflower Stories EP.