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YELLOW6 – Painted Sky (CD, Resonant)

Posted: March 31st, 2007, by Simon Minter

Yellow6’s new album, the latest in a long line that stretches back to the late ’90s, isn’t a radical change of direction. It’s more another step in a slow exploration of floating, freeform sound that occasionally gets captured onto a recording medium. The fundamental template for this music is based on the careful selection of picked guitar lines, which echo forever and mould themselves into a backdrop of lush, rich blurs of sound.

Over Painted Sky‘s ten tracks, which run together to total slightly over an hour of music, time and care are employed to let each grow from nothing, weave their way around the room and then dissipate away. This isn’t music of dramatic textural changes a la Mogwai or Explosions in the Sky, but it’s like the music of those bands stretched way, way out so that their components are placed on display for our examination.

The album’s recorded in a close, intimate fashion – scrapes of guitar strings are evident, and everything is balanced to fill the listener’s head with layers of delicate and defined melody. The overall effect is to create a drifting-in-space feel of exhilaratingly sparse thoughtfulness, that could be used to define the phrase ‘head music’. On some of the tracks here (‘Common’, ‘Eighteen Days’, ‘MarĂ©’ and ‘Azure’) the dreamlike washes of sound are augmented by beats, but for me Yellow6 are at their best when they leave textures floating in the air without such grounding. The utterly desolate ‘Realisation’ and the mournful ‘I know I shouldn’t (but I do)’ are outstandingly cloying. They reflect the work of Angelo Badalementi, The Workhouse, Earth, even Slint, but are so fixated on their own specific sound that they are as if no other music exists whilst you’re listening.


Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


2 Responses to YELLOW6 – Painted Sky (CD, Resonant)

  1. JGRAM

    my good buddy Justin at Bad Hand Films has just done visuals to this release I believe


  2. jon.6

    it’s true – he has done a damned fine video for Realisation which is available on You Tube (search Yellow6 or Badhand)…
    and many thanks for the review