What do i love about Ambient Music? Well, i
suppose i love that it nevers DEMANDS attention. It just exists,
in the background, and you can pay attention to its serenity,
or you can focus on other things. It's like a cat i suppose.
It doesn't demand attention too often, not like a dog would.
But if you want to pay attention to it, both of you can have
a good time.
Yellow6's music is a small cat perched on the edge of the sofa.
You can go about your business and it's cool with that. But
if you really focus on it, you will find that it is a surprisngly
complex thing, and that it accomplishes much with little effort.
Like a cat that can sit there, for hours on end, half asleep
half awake, waiting for some small prey animal/bug to walk by.
It is patient.
And then at twilight it runs around the apartment like it's
tail is on fire, for no good reason.
Well, maybe my analogy breaks down at that point. But what
i am trying to get at here is that the music on this album is
subtle, and calm. If you just sort of half hear it is pleasant
enough. But if you pay attention, it rewards you with depth
and quality. There is some amazing guitarwork being done here,
and some nice work with a drum machine as well.
Indeed, that is the secret to the work of Yellow6: it's seems
simple on the surface, but if you focus on it you realize that
it is well done and intricate.
This is, i think, the third full-length from Yellow6. It came
out in December of 2001 on Ochre, a tiny little label somewhere
in the UK. I kept searching and searching for it, and finally
i found a copy this past February at the actual Yellow6
site. Thank goodness he finally got PayPal -- his work is
very difficult to find otherwise.
So it took me forever to find this album, but i have thoroughly
enjoyed it since then. Yellow6 has again crafted a subtle washed
out work of guitar drone and mild electronic beats. In general,
well, this is a Yellow6 album. If distorted guitar instrumentals
do not appeal to you, then this probably isn't a good purchase
for you. On the other hand, if acts like Lanterna,
Windy & Carl,
and Aarktica appeal to you, then Lake:Desert is
a worthwhile addition to your collection.
Mostly the album blends into a subtle haze, but there are a
few standout points that i enjoy. Half Life gets a really
nice head-bopping kind of drone going, with nice dubby thwunked
drums in the background. Hardwire also bears a dub influence,
here in the form of echoed drum hits appearing periodically
behind the guitar wash. Both of these tunes really work for
Post is a bit more noisy than much of Yellow6's work
these days. The guitar is overdriven and fuzzy, not just echoed,
and the bass is deep and dark. This is a good, energetic tune,
and it comes about half-way through the album. As such, it serves
as a good "wake back up" point. This song is followed immediately
by Badwater, which is dominated by a rumbling bass riff
that hovers over vague IDM beats. I find this track interesting
in that it hints at the sound of the Source:Remix
album, while actually predating it.
There are two additional tracks that go the other direction:
rather than being very innovative and loud, these are soft and
very typical of the genre, but both are very well done. Lovely
little tunes in fact. These are Racing Rockets, which
is an echoing piano piece, and Fallen Trees, in which
Yellow6 cuts loose with a subtle flamenco-y rhythm in the drone.
Both are not too innovative, but both are lovely.
So, overall this is a good effort. I applaud what Yellow6 is
doing, and enjoy his experiments.