Ambient keyboardist/composer Harold Budd's collaborations with guitarist Robin Guthrie go all the way back to 1986, when Guthrie's former band, the Cocteau Twins, joined forces with Budd for The Moon and the Melodies. But Guthrie and Budd have pooled their powers more frequently in recent years -- Bordeaux marks the fourth project the pair has released together since 2005. It's pretty much in keeping with the tradition they've established, offering up a cornucopia of shimmering, gently shifting ambient soundscapes that make the most of both Budd's lambent piano work and Guthrie's ethereal, effects-laden tones. Over the course of Bordeaux's nine tracks, Budd and Guthrie create a sonic spell whose hypnotic powers of enchantment prove cumulative. One of the most immediately striking aspects of the sound the two men make together is that Guthrie's six-string work sounds like anything but the product of a guitar; he's so adept at transforming the tones emitted from his axe that he practically creates another instrument in the process -- some hybrid/paradigm blending texture and technology. For his part, Budd keeps things on the minimal side -- after working so extensively with Guthrie in the past, he seems to know just where to place his warm, watery piano notes within the gentle swirl of sound his partner produces. Budd takes the primary melodic role here, providing much of the motion while Guthrie takes care of the atmosphere and mood-setting, but these are relatively static pieces, and rightly so, as their main function is, after all, to create a mood. Standing within both the tradition of ambient music and the context of previous Budd/Guthrie outings, Bordeaux -- named for the French town in which it was recorded -- offers a batch of bewitching pieces best experienced in an intimate setting.
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AllMusic Review by James Allen