Robin Guthrie is perhaps best known for his work with Cocteau Twins, but his career is filled with many great collaborations, production credits, and music. He has worked with This Mortal Coil, Harold Budd, The Wolfgang Press, Chapterhouse, Lush, Ulrich Schnauss and many, many more. His Violet Indiana project and his collaboration with John Foxx on Mirrorball received quite a bit of playtime on my iPod when it was released.
As the interview in xlr8r.com illustrates, he is no gear slut, but that doesn’t matter. His guitar processing helped identify him as one of the most prolific and important figures in that “shoe-gazey” type genre. He was running his Roland TR-808 through distortion and guitar amps long before many even dreamed about that possibility. Check out Garlands to hear that. It is proof that you don’t need a mountain of gear to get a ton of out electronic gear.
When it comes to the creating the gauzy, otherworldly guitar atmospheres of the shoegaze and proto-Brit-pop scenes, Robin Guthrie has probably had his hand in a greater number of iconic records than even Kevin Shields. With a list of production credits a mile long—including records from Chapterhouse, A.R. Kane, Felt, Lush, Medicine, and the Wolfgang Press—and a peerless back catalog of recordings both solo and as a guitarist and producer in the legendary 4AD band Cocteau Twins, Guthrie continues to collaborate and help other bands realize their ethereal, dreamy sounds. About 10 years ago, he decamped to northwestern France for the quiet(er) life: a countryside home/studio near Rennes. We caught up with him in a not-so-quiet moment between production takes.
For more on Ken Taylor’s interview go to xlr8r.com. It’s a great interview with some good information on his approach to music making.
Robin Guthrie’s Carousel is out now on Darla.