For the last 15 Christmastimes our normally agitant moods brought on by the silly season and all its associated tat, commercialism and thoroughly miserable weather have been somewhat warmed and cooed by the expectant arrival of yellow6’s seasonal offering in the release of his ongoing Merry6mas CD‘s. Much cheer has been afforded and spent in that time transfixed to the sounds emanating from the turntable from said offering that its made the seasonal experience a tad more palatable. As traditional as turkey this limited release was originally given out free to friends, fans and admirers of Yellow6, demand and repute grew such that it became an official release in recent years. This year though word came that the 15th annual soiree nearly never happened. Keen observers will duly note that once responsible for a prolific release schedule there’s been something of an easing off the gas in respect to Yellow6 outings these days, where once these annual selections came adorned in detailed liner notes ‘XV’ arrives bereft of such information just simply stating ‘a collection of new recordings made during 2013’. has, we wonder, Mr Atwood lost interest. We certainly hope not, long admired here, Mr Atwood is one of this nations foremost sound alchemists whose expansive canvas to date has journeyed at turn into the drone, minimalist post rock, space rock, dream pop and ambient outposts, equally adept at crafting the grand and panoramic as he is the lulled and spectral, his craft is both intimate and porcelain in design. Available digitally and as an uber limited hand numbered 100 only CD edition – our copy for note takers is #96 – ’Y6XV’ features over an hours worth of material composed during 2013, included here the complete ’fives’ suite as recently commissioned by the esteemed Silber imprint which I think I’m right in saying includes an array of movements that where clipped from the final edit. On the whole the collection is the most inward looking to date in so much that the prevailing mood appears soured and steeped in loss, that said still steeled and equipped in classicism, poise and elegance, Atwood is a proven past master at the stately, the monolithic and the cinematic as opening salvo ’bright skies’ so ably provides testament. Frosted chime arpeggios softly serenade the undertow of bruised opines, there’s almost a hymnal reverence about its wares as though a bleakly beautiful epitaph suspended in a moment. In sharp contrast the tension unfurling throughout ’calling once more’ coils constrictor like amid a late 60’s suspense styled noir drilling you could easily imagine underpinning a David Lynch chiller elsewhere there’s the slow arrest of the tearfully traced ‘sleep day’ hushed, hurt and hollowed in an introspection all primed upon a John Barry slow fuse. Somewhere else ‘two days previous’ mentioned in passing in previous despatches – notably Tales from the Attic Volume XX – incidentally the briefest cut here is subtly aglow in a shy eyed romance delicately bathed in 60’s inflections and turned in the kind of measured grandeur oft portrayed on Godspeed platters. ‘they look lost’ offers a rare moment of lightness; reflective and softly radiant, a dreamy lull exudes from the grooves to reveal something of a reclining cloud watching beauty. Best of the set ’summershine’ is adorned and shrouded in vapour trailed halos, the motifs brooding and bitter sweet pulsate and prowl to a navigatory path blended upon forlorn and pensive spy themed noir pierced with a quiet majestic stillness that nods to some colluding studio activity between Budd and Mancini.


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