Yellow6 - When The Leaves Fall Like Snow
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When The Leaves Fall Like Snow

In the past decade, it would be hard to pick another artist who has been as prolific as Jon Attwood (except perhaps Merzbow, and even he has slowed down somewhat). If you include singles and EPs and full-lengths and even the limited CDRs that he releases each year, Attwood (under the name Yellow6) has released over thirty hours worth of music in roughly ten years time. If you were a faithful collector, you could listen to his work for a full day straight without a single break (and still have several hours to spare), or fill four entire nights with nothing but his often somnambulistic sounds as a backdrop.

When The Leaves Fall Like Snow continues his verbose output, and although the title has nothing in common with the season when it's being released, musically it largely continues down the same well-worn path that Yellow6 has gone before. The first disc of the release (subtitled "fall") finds him in full-on ambient mode, with six songs stretching out to well over seventy minutes in length. Much more guitar-based than some of his recent releases that dabbled a bit in synths (and even vocals), it's all about wide-open, sparse spaces that mix soft washes of sound with slowly-evolving melodies. "Street" is fairly typical of what you get, as e-bowed guitar drifts like smoke curls for several quiet minutes as soft crackles of spring reverb crackle before some more soft hums of feedback wash in around the edges. "Leaves Like Snow" is a little more melodic, with a minimal heartbeat of a programmed rhythm providing some loose bones to hang some warm guitar notes on.

CD two (subtitled "further") is a little less drifting, with ten songs running just under seventy minutes, but mellow is still the rule rather than the exception. Generally much more melodic than the first disc, songs like "Amateur" and "Norwest Passage" find Attwood spirally lovely plucked guitar melodies into a warm haze, and the latter even hums with a thin crust of feedback (although certainly not enough to shake too much of the sleepy dust from your eyes). In other places ("You Can't Be Everything He Said"), some soft programmed beats find their way into the mix, but they're not really their for their thump, and instead only add a slight pitter-patter to keep things pulsing along. As I've mentioned time and time again, Attwood is certainly a pro at creating this sort of stuff. Even in yet another batch of almost two and a half hours of music, there isn't anything here that stands out as a major clunker, but at the same time I'm starting to have a really hard time telling one release from another in terms of his catalogue. Unless he decides to start rocking out, though, that's something that likely won't change anytime soon, and so I guess having another batch of warm ambient music around isn't the worst thing in the world. Heck, even though the title reminds one of fall, it might sound just as good on a relaxing summer evening as well.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2008-05-08 19:55:42