This is the very first release from Make
Mine Music, a new music collective out of England. This
release features founding MMM members Portal (Scott Sinfield)
and Yellow6 (Jon Attwood) providing both solo material and working
together as a duo.
Both artists make very similar music. They are both guitarists,
who record with drum machines and who also sometimes loop bass
or piano into the picture. The only difference is that occasionally
Portal works with vocalist Rachel Hughes. Yellow6 is (to date)
The first 2 tracks on the album are Portal songs. Only the
first, Hold features Ms. Hughes' vocals. The guitarwork
on this song is exquisite, but her voice is a little over-produced.
That is, it is quite up-front, and perhaps a little cleaner
than it needs to be. Her singing style is vaguely gothy: precise
pronunciation and only slightly drawn out syllables. The overall
effect is to make this song sound like a teenage goth band from
Florida. It's good, but not their best work.
The second Portal track is quite nice. It's called The First
Breath of Winter and is a mostly piano song. Sinfield plays
a charming little piano melody over guitar drone and a drum
track. Simple, yet nicely done.
The next two tracks are from Yellow6, and the first one, Threefold
is another stunning work from this artist. It starts inauspicously,
with a reverbed guitar strumming away. Then a skittering beat
comes in and a layer of guitar drone is added in the background.
The beat grows more erratic, more IDM-ish, as the drone in general
grows, until finally the whole thing positively explodes, with
fuzzed out drum hits and overdriven guitar. It's a really good
Yellow6's second track, The Sinking Sun is again more
piano based. (I wonder if they planned it so that each act's
second song was a piano tune?) At any rate, Attwood's piano
is sparser than Sinfield's. This is a long really mellow ambient
tune. It's pretty good, but not among Yellow6's best work.
The last four tracks on this disc are, in many ways, the most
interesting. On these 4 tracks, Attwood and Sinfield collaborated,
working their guitar drone magic together to create 4 lovely
The first of them is called #2 and Yellow6's guitar
sound really sort of dominates this track. It has his signature
loud trebly drone, but the counterpoint drone laid down by Portal
really works well. Simply put, this is an awesome ambient guitar
In fact, all of them are well done ambience. Well, except for
the final track, #3, which is more noisy drone that ambient
drone. (And as such is well suited to closing out such an album
-- it brings you back into focus after the wandering of all
the previous tracks.)
Of particular interest is the third collaborative track, titled
#4. This song features lots of echo on strummed guitars
played over washes of drum sound. It really reminds me of an
outtake from The Moon and the Melodies, or perhaps
something from Robin Guthrie's recent solo album. At any rate,
this is a simply lovely little track.
Overall, i am very impressed with this release. It is exactly
the type of stuff i like to listen to, and it is well done.
If you are into drone or ambient music, then this is a very
nice purchase. I don't really think that this music has a lot
of crossover potential, and in fact i bet that i could lull
other Minions to sleep with this..... So be forwarned that this
music is quite genre-specific, and not for everybody.
I hope that Make Mine Music continues to live up to the promise
this release makes.