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Dance - Released January 1, 2004 | EMI Marketing

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New Age - Released January 1, 2005 | Virgin Catalogue

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1986 | Virgin Catalogue

The phrase 'Lovely Thunder' suggests a beautiful sound with an undertone of menace. One need go no farther than "Gypsy Violin," the last song and centerpiece of the album Lovely Thunder, to hear how Harold Budd takes the phrase and forges a musical equivalent. Underneath the plaintive melody of the synthesized violin and an occasional foghorn-reminiscent bass note lies a bed of synth chords that are present throughout, sometimes adding notes, sometimes dropping them, sometimes moving a chord up or down a key and into dissonance with the rest. The overall result is an undulating base that never quite lets the listener settle onto firm ground, giving the song a distinct edge. Drones do figure prominently as a musical base for many of the album's other songs, yet the music is generally more akin to the reverberated keyboard treatments Budd utilized to stunning effect on his two collaborations with Brian Eno. Those looking to explore beyond The Plateux of Mirror and The Pearl would do well to give this album a listen, as they will most likely be both challenged and satisfied. (Cocteau Twins fans will recognize the song "Flowered Knife Shadows" as a slightly edited version of the song "Memory Gongs" from Budd's collaboration with that group on the album The Moon and the Melodies.) © Brian E. Kirby /TiVo
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Pop - Released August 4, 2000 | Atlantic Records

With The Room, Harold Budd makes his major-label debut. Expanding on a track from The White Arcades, he crafts 13 pieces with a simple, childlike innocence that also contain rich textures beneath, inducing a calm, meditative state -- perfect for relaxation therapy or cloud watching. As he has been a longtime master of ambient atmospherics, Budd is able to create a benign, peaceful aural gallery as each piece slowly, quietly unfolds into a different "room," heard in the shimmering bells of "The Room Alight," the chanted voices of "The Candied Room," and the somber "Room of Forgotten Children" (note the wonderfully evocative titles). Though some of the synthesizer textures verge on a little too much new age sweetness, his piano is always a thing of tranquil beauty, veiled in layers of eerie echo, evoking a half-remembered dream. After many interesting collaborative records, this is an impressive return to form to Budd's early to mid-'80s heyday. © Jason Gross /TiVo
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Electronic/Dance - Released November 25, 2013 | All Saints Records

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Miscellaneous - Released September 20, 2013 | Root Strata

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1978 | Virgin Catalogue

Mixing ethereal melodies communicated by voice or saxophone with glissando accompaniment, Harold Budd creates a series of siren songs on The Pavilion of Dreams that shimmer like light reflected on the water's surface. Billed as "an extended cycle of works begun in 1972," Budd's debut apparently took a while to see the light of day itself, having been recorded in 1976, released on the aptly titled Obscure label in 1978, and re-released in 1981 on Editions EG. The minimalist composer had gained some attention in avant-garde circles with the piece "Madrigals of the Rose Angel"; featured here, it reveals the unhurried and unfolding nature of Budd's melodies as well as his penchant for clusters of bell-like notes. "Two Songs" was written in the years that followed, adapting works from Pharoah Sanders and John Coltrane with arrangements that feature only mezzo-soprano Lynda Richardson and harpist Maggie Thomas; unless you thought the theme song to the Star Trek TV series was high art, you can skip this. The opening "Bismillahi 'Rhahmani 'Rrahim" is the musical equivalent of a bubble bath; led by the soulful saxophone of Marion Brown, it's initially lovely, yet the circumspect arrangement saps the piece of its spellbinding effect before long. The last piece composed here, "Juno," is also the most passionate, foreshadowing the warmth and presence that would appear on subsequent works like "The Plateaux of Mirror." As with most minimalist works, The Pavilion of Dreams requires patience and open-mindedness on the part of the listener, only more so. Harold Budd achieved an evocative and succinct style on subsequent albums, and these songs are simply the rudimentary steps that led there. © Dave Connolly /TiVo
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Classical - Released September 27, 2011 | Darla

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Electronic/Dance - Released November 25, 2013 | All Saints Records

Budd's first solo release since 1991, this is proof that Budd's talent remains consistent: always maintaining that delicate balance between pretty ambient music and something darker in mood that seeps into the corners of his melodies. Divided into four sections, Luxa features six piano-led pieces, a trio of miniatures, five more ambient drones, and a duo of covers from Marion Brown and Steven Brown respectively. The titles suggest homages to some of Budd's favorite 20th century artists (according to the press release) though you'd be hard pressed to hear much of Chet Baker, Serge Poliakoff, and Agnes Martin in these works unless you stretched your brain. Relaxing, warm music, like sun on a red tile floor. © Ted Mills /TiVo
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Classical - Released November 18, 2013 | Darla

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Shout Factory

La Bella Vista captures two impromptu performances from minimalist ambient guru Harold Budd. Playing solo on a vintage Steinway piano during two friendly gatherings, Budd created improvisational passages that danced across the air, not knowing that Adam Samuels and his friend Daniel Lanois were recording the sessions. At turns noirish and deeply emotional, these ten slices of piano poetry express the depth of Budd's humanity and work a powerful magic over any patient music lover. While Budd's piano might appear overly melancholic as background music, it sparkles with wit and happiness on closer listens. He does allow many somber notes to linger in the air, but his nimble-fingered flourishes work like pastel bridges over these voids. The song titles could not be more appropriate. The sprightly sweet tones of "Other Flowers," for example, might cause one to reminisce about running through a field of flowers as a child, while "Her Face" might score a film where two lovers attempt to leave behind past scorn and rediscover their each other. Looking past the abstract surface of Budd's cascading waterfall of piano notes, this is an album born of introspection that reveals and unravels the minds in its audience. On par with Budd's work with Brian Eno during Eno's ambient glory days, La Bella Vista paints new emotional worlds each time it's approached. © Tim DiGravina /TiVo
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Electronic/Dance - Released November 25, 2013 | All Saints Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released November 25, 2013 | All Saints Records

Harold Budd's discs tend to end up in the new age section of the record store, because his music is generally pleasant, quiet, and soothing. But where most new age composers go for the obvious (and sometimes saccharine) melody, Budd veers off into ambiguity; he also lacks the mystical bent that often goes along with the new age style. Instead, his compositional voice is more like that of a detached observer -- one who creates beauty without getting too involved with it. By the Dawn's Early Light finds Budd writing for various combinations of viola, guitar, harp, and keyboards. All of the music is lovely, but not all of the compositions sound complete. In several cases, they sound like raw ideas rushed into the studio before their time. Guitarist Bill Nelson provides much of the interest throughout the album, and the sighing, slithery viola of Mabel Wong lends an occasional turn-of-the-century salon feel to the proceedings. The only really embarrassing moments occur when Budd -- whose voice sounds like an unfortunate cross between Garrison Keillor and Kermit the Frog -- reads his own poetry. Skip those tracks and you'll be fine. © Rick Anderson /TiVo
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Ambient - Released September 30, 2008 | Darla Records

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Ambient - Released September 9, 2014 | Darla Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released November 25, 2013 | All Saints Records

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Ambient - Released May 25, 2009 | Darla Records

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Classical - Released May 27, 2013 | Darla Records

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Classical - Released April 10, 2012 | EnT-T

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Ambient - Released April 19, 2010 | Darla Records