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- Closer To The Sea Without Moving
CD Album 2014 | Silber 165
10 tracks, 57 minutes
$12 ($18 international, $5 download)
: Listen to the track Looking Back Towards The Sea
: Press Release
: Listen to the album on Spotify
: Listen to the album on Bandcamp
Looking Back Towards the Sea
Closer to the Sea (Part One)
Closer to the Sea (Part Two)
Closer to the Sea (Part Three)
Closer to the Sea (Part Four)
Closer to the Sea (Part Five)
Experimental band Yellow6 graces us with a new album, Closer To The Sea Without Moving, on North Carolina's Silber Records. The ten tracks combine aspects of drone, shoegaze and post-rock into an artist canvass of lush soundscapes. The music finds each element and texture adding personality to the overall aesthetic. What emerges is an album of sublime taste and beauty.
~ Floorshime Zipper Boots
Yellow6’s “Closer To The Sea Without Moving” remains pristine in its delivery. The calm that radiates from the songs is reminiscent of other Post-Rock outfits sans crescendos. For the works rarely raise their volumes. Elements of the sound are made for quiet reflection. At times rather epic in scope the best pieces are those that are able to display their full abilities, the ones that let their music sprawl out into beautiful new territories. Moments of their work recall the satisfying slow moving beauty of watching the day come to a gradual close.
The simplicity works wonders on “looking back towards the sea” whose gradual buildup is beautiful. Outright avoiding a loud boisterous finale the piece fades away. Darker elements work together on “lighthouse” with cloudy textures creating mournful melodies. By far the album’s highlight is the infinite space of “closer to the sea (part two)”. A mere whisper begins the song. Guitar work stays in the background as the percussive elements help to create mood. With layer upon layer falls into the mix making the ultimate release at the end one of the most gratifying moments on the entire album. Slowness defines the dreamy, shoegaze informed work of “red candy” whose wistful atmospheres serve as yet another high point in the album. Ending things off on a subdued note is the hope of “sleet day”.
“Closer To The Sea Without Moving” is a perfect pristine ambient album full of small gestures.
~ Beach Sloth
Yellow6 is the prolific project of English guitar experimenter Jon Attwood, that from 1998 onwards has released an impressive number of albums, EP’s and split records. What is particularly interesting in “Closer to the Sea Without Moving”, apart from Attwood’s impressive ability for creating complex soundscapes with effected guitars, is the story behind the album and its aesthetics. He wrote the album while on holiday in a lighthouse cottage in Norfolk. Since in this area the coastal erosion is unstoppable, the lighthouse will submerge into the sea one day or another. It’s easy to imagine the otherworldly sense of abandon of that place, captured in the photographs that are part of the artwork. This contextualisation tinges the album with a beautiful nostalgia. You clearly recognize how the layers of sounds are flowing one upon the other like waves on the shore, leaving a sense of impalpability and relentlessness at the same time.
~ Damiano Lanzi, Santa Sangre
UK project YELLOW6 has been an ongoing venture for composer and musician Jon Attwood for almost 20 years, with a long succession of releases over the years where explores a kind of music he describes as “minimalist ambient looping post-rock drone guitar music”. “Closer to the Sea Without Moving” is one of the more recent of his productions, and was released through US label Silber Records in the fall of 2014.
The music of Yellow6 is one that is kind of difficult to describe on a song by song basis, and one rather challenging to summarize as well. Not due to it being what one might describe as demanding in any specific manner, but due to being atmospheric laden and one that inspires emotions and reactions on a more subtle level. Most of the material is dreamladen and ambient in nature, but rather than being some type of new age music the main stylistic orientation resides somewhere at the halfway stage between drones and post-rock.
Plucked, slow guitar details, frequently layered, is a key feature throughout, occasionally with a delicate piano motif as a supplemental feature, forming a delicate foundation that is the backbone of most of the compositions. Frail, fragile and more often than not with subtle variations, echoing notes and other minor variations maintaining tension and interest. On some occasions sparse percussion details are added, on this album to very good effect I should add.
In addition, fluctuation drones, nervous plucked light toned guitars post-rock style and ethereal, distanced sound textures are brought in to supplement, contrast and fill out the soundscapes. These additions brings with them the key ambient and post-rock elements, and the combined arrangements featuring all of these elements can at times be rather majestic, relatively speaking, and in a careful and delicate context at that.
On this production the end results are compositions that comes with associations to longing and melancholy, yearning for something lost perhaps, or something that once was. At times with a more sorrowful tinge, or a more solemn feel, on some occasions with a deeper feeling of sadness and mourning. Rarely if ever with any dramatic elements however, but more of a constant, careful presence.
While music of this kind will not be for everyone, those who can appreciate compositions of a more careful and delicate nature, where smooth drones, carefully plucked guitars and ethereal post-rock oriented textures gracefully come together in melancholic, dreamladen soundscapes often of an ambient nature, should find this album to be an interesting one.
~ Olav Martin Bjørnsen, House of Prog
Another step in the world of guitar experimentation, Yellow6 presents guitar soundscapes that capture the spirit of many styles. On his new record “Closer To The Sea Without Moving” Yellow6 was inspired by the Happisburgh Lighthouse on the north Norfolk coast that is on course to be claimed by the sea. The story of an over 200 year old guardian knowing it’s days are numbered & that it’s glory days are well behind, that it’s only a quaint relic.
Workaholic ambient/post-rock type Yellow6, known to his friends as Jon Attwood, went on holiday this summer to Happisburgh (pronounced 'Hazeborough') on the Norfolk coast, staying in a lighthouse cottage with views out to sea. It was in this beautiful but desolate landscape of wheat fields and coastal erosion that much of the material contained on 'Closer To The Sea Without Moving' was put together. The imagery surrounding that place is noticeable all over this album, from the song titles, only two of which don't refer to being by the sea, to the booklet of photographs of lapping waves and tumbledown structures that's found in the lovely screenprinted sleeve.
An apt setting for the windswept and solitary music contained within. It's pretty much business as usual for Attwood - a bit of delicate post-rocky guitar here, a bit of heartbreaky piano tinkling there, lots of graceful melodies and the occasional passage of droney lo-fi ambience. I'm particularly enjoying the first two of the five-part 'Closer to the Sea' suite; the former establishing a mournful piano theme before the second picks it up on electric guitar with some subtle drum machine touches and heartstring-tugging slo-mo Hank Marvin shapes slowly building into the album's most post-rockin' crescendo full of aching glissando shimmers and neon feedback trails building to a cathartic fuzzed out climax. For the most part, though, it's pretty gentle stuff; wistful and melodic instrumental business as usual.
~ Norman Records
Please give their outstanding and essential discography of kosmische drones, electro-acoustics, experimental guitarworlds a careful and attentive listening.
A welcoming return to these pages of an old friend, Yellow6 has been part of the very fabric of these missives from their earliest days, emerging from the post rock / space rock / ambient scene Jon Atwood (nee Yellow6) has established himself as one of the foremost purveyors in the art of crafting mood moving widescreen soundscapes. Countless albums and compilation appearances totalling into three figures most mainly ridiculously limited in nature – have ensured him the noteworthy reputation of being every completest worst nightmare. With the obligatory year ending festive release ‘merry6mas’ almost upon us and expected shortly, Silber records have just released ‘closer to the sea without moving’. Limited to just 150 copies this ten track suite was inspired by a trip to Norfolk, staying at the doomed Happisburgh Lighthouse, itself like some 200 year old silent guardian observing all around disappearing, this landmark site has all but given up and resigned itself to its coming fate with the seas around reclaiming the surrounding areas at an alarming rate, such is the rate of erosion that the area has been flagged up of major concern in the European communities. Jon and his family stayed at the lighthouse earlier this year, part holiday part research – tapping into the moods and observing the slow destruction and the victory of nature with most of the albums sketch notes completed whilst sitting on the steps of this monolith looking out to sea. ‘closer to the sea without moving’ is a study in reflection, traced in moments of beauty and dulled by sadness it presents a thoughtful and touching epitaph to this landmark monument drawing heavily on the loneliness of its 200 year old task and the sorrow of the once vibrant community built around it now lost and fallen silent whilst considering its own eventual demise and the nothingness beyond to come. Music wise as ever the string strokes exude a touch of finite serene elegance, opening track ‘looking back towards the sea’ providing a sketch map as to where we are, its thoughtful contours etching out a ‘true’ era Roy Montgomery canvas base from which to work. ‘lighthouse’ takes the perspective from the landmarks point of view, a sense of the calm before the storm sullies and steals it in a crushing mournful sadness. The set though is dominated beautifully by the five part ‘closer to the sea’ suite, here Atwood comes into his own rifling through as where the lighthouse’s old memories, the centre point being the delicately harnessed ‘part 2’ – it’s here that Atwood’s mastery of intimacy and the channelling of moods comes into exacting focus, from the opining grace and carefree motifs that speckle its introduction to the storm lashed brutality of the conversation between the victim and perpetrator at 8.27 wherein the onset of feedback ruptures suddenly threaten with dooming consequence, between these polar extremes the lighthouse’s sense of pride, its solace and solitary watch are met in expressive detail with ‘part 3’ reminiscing upon happier safe times observing the ebb and flow of the passing day and the mournful end game recital that is ‘part 5’. All said we here are quite smitten by the demurring beauty of the Mancini meets Vini O’Reilly spectral detailing that dapples the fragile grooves of the mellowed ‘red candy’ which only falls into runners up spot at the emergence of the gorgeously serene Fahey schooled ‘sleet day’ – exquisite as you’d rightly expect.
~ The Sunday Experience
Way back in 1998 (seems like a long time ago), Jon Attwood, a guy who’d been brought up on a steady diet of punk, hardcore and was grooming himself with musical aspirations of his own, he started Yellow 6. His main inspiration, besides the aforementioned, came from “space rock”, that ethereal, doped-up cloud-floating waves of bands such as Spacemen 3 (which, after breaking up, became Spiritualized. I myself, never got into Spiritualized as much as I did Spacemen 3), post-rock, such as Wire, Tubeway Army/Gary Numan, Joy Division, Bauhaus, etc, electronica, “shoegaze” music, then put him own imprimatur on it all.
Over 100 releases and 100 appearances on various compilations in the past 16 years, Yellow 6 has worked at creating their own, unique vision of ambient textures with undertones of melancholy and angst. Combining all that with quiet, droning sounds that derive from guitars, keyboards and drum machines, they’ve made it this far without burning themselves out or imploding from inside tensions.
So, to come to the present, just last month, in October, 2014, they released their latest, Closer to the Sea Without Moving, a very mellow, mellifluous and somber sort of album, with a big emphasis on an ambient sound. The first two cuts, “Looking Back Towards the Sea” and “Lighthouse” are nice, quiet openers that pave the way for what is the main idea of the album: a five-part, title-track “suite”. Songs three through seven comprise parts one-five of “Closer to the Sea”, opening with a sparse, isolated one minute, 20 second, piano solo; a slow-moving, Erik Satie-like structure, followed by an 11 ½ minute part two that brings the piece to life by adding atmospheric backgrounds, a light, two-guitar song that is evocative of a quiet ocean calm. Part three, at 3:42, is a sort of musical soliloquy which, with a louder, stronger-voiced instrumental tone, seems to be pouring its heart out in an apology or a confessional. Part four is just under two minutes and is a segue into the closing Part five, a four ½ minute minimalist epilogue that winds things up, not by bringing it back to the desolate desert of Part one, but to seemingly newly acquired knowledge, maybe self-knowledge, which the protagonist leaves the scene with, knowing that things are heading the direction they are: maybe it’s not the most wished-for outcome, yet it is the way nonetheless and it seems as if acceptance is the tone of this ending.
The last three tunes are a loose affiliation of dreamy ambient works that have a beautiful vista which is seen from the distant mesa their on. The guitar plays a perfect complement to the rich ambient textures of the synthesizers, with a clear, clean, cold winter’s light.
Closer To The Sea Without Moving, takes its inspiration from a real place: a lighthouse on the north coast of Norfolk, Virginia, which, with the slow, geologic progression of time, will one day tumble and its surrounding land be swallowed up by the encroaching Atlantic Ocean. This quaint 200+ year old lighthouse, with its enduring presence about to come to an eventual end, by now, seems to be a lovely relic for those tourists and ones passing through and probably a grand old monument to the locals of the area. I guess, in some way, Yellow 6, are putting forth a instrumental conundrum, which is: “is it better to survive, to continue as a novelty and a shell or to let it all end?” – that last interesting question is something I got from a press release which accompanied the download of this album, to give credit where credit is due.
If you enjoy the calming, soothing ambient sketches of Brian Eno then you will be right at home with this latest release by Yellow 6.
~ Kent Manthie, Independent Review
Seppure non consacrata in un album ufficiale ormai dai tempi di “When The Leaves Fall Like Snow” (2008), la prolifica attività di Jon Attwood non si è mai interrotta nemmeno dopo la chiusura dell’etichetta Make Mine Music, luogo naturalmente atto a ospitare le sue solitarie modulazioni applicate alla chitarra elettrica riassunte da ormai quasi tre lustri sotto l’alias Yellow6. Tra numerose collaborazioni, raccolte di materiale sparso, frammenti a tiratura limitata e le consuete edizioni natalizie, Attwood non ha mai smesso di pubblicare musica nel corso degli ultimi anni, eppure non può che essere salutato con piacere il suo ritorno al formato di un album vero e proprio, organicamente concepito e realizzato.
A partire dal titolo, “Closer To The Sea Without Moving” è un lavoro che si inscrive in assoluta coerenza nel percorso artistico di Attwood, tanto dal punto di vista dell’ispirazione quanto da quello degli elementi sonori: la prima, alla quale l’intero disco è dedicato, è mutuata dai processi di erosione causati dal mare in una zona costiera del Norfolk esplorata di recente da Attwood, mentre i secondi gravitano nuovamente sospesi in un universo pervaso da echi e riverberi che mutano forma e consistenza.
Il flusso sonoro di quasi un’ora condensato nel lavoro ne distilla l’impronta concettuale in una malinconia da mare d’inverno, il cui accurato dosaggio di risonanze e sospensioni esulta tanto da una rappresentazione di statico paesaggismo ambientale quanto dalla semplice iterazione di effetti chitarristici: le timbriche modulate da Attwood assumono infatti dimensioni via via cangianti e dinamiche tali da trasfigurarne quasi l’essenza. Il processo di “dematerializzazione” delle frequenze elettriche produce così un ventaglio di riflessi policromi, che creano una sequenza di rapite contemplazioni (“Lighthouse”, “Red Candy” e “Sleet Day”) nella quale affiorano tuttavia residui crescendo distorsivi (al culmine degli undici minuti di “Closer To The Sea (Part Two)”) e persino pulsazioni elettroniche notturne, che rimandano quasi ai tempi dello splendido “Melt Inside” (“Closer To The Sea (Part Three)”).
Nell’essenza romanticamente malinconica dell’ossequio alle sovrastanti forze naturali, “Closer To The Sea Without Moving” rende piena giustificazione del lungo periodo di frammentazione espressiva di Jon Attwood, restituendo ancor più affinata e composita la tavolozza attraverso la quale continua a plasmare un immaginario ambientale denso di sognanti languori naturalistici.
~ Music Won't Save You
Na twee jaar in punkbands te hebben gespeeld start gitarist/keyboardspeler Jon Attwood in 1998 zijn project Yellow6, waarmee hij steevast minimale, melancholische atmosferische muziek maakt. Veelal gitaarambient, maar meestal brengt hij meer dan dat. Hij is verder samen met Dirk Serries te horen in The Sleep Of Reason en geeft eenmaal acte de présence bij Crippled Black Phoenix. Met Yellow6 heeft hij zo’n 11 studio albums, 14 zogeheten Merry6mas cd’s (vol nieuw, rest en zeldzaam werk), vele mini’s plus nog eens diverse splits met Rothko, Avrocar, Absent Without Leave, Caught In The Wake Forever, David Newlyn, Egsun en Landing gemaakt. Stuk voor stuk van hoog niveau. Nu is er zijn (ongeveer) twaalfde album Closer To The Sea Without Moving. Attwood vertelt hierop een ambientverhaal over het leven en het verval. Het album draait om de vijf stukken “Closer To The Sea”, die voorafgegaan worden door 2 en erna nog door 3 tracks gevolgd worden. De muziek is op vertrouwde wijze heerlijk droefgeestig, die de juiste snaren weet te raken. Op rustieke wijze kabbelt de steeds wisselende mix van gitaarambient, lichte shoegaze, post-rock, ambient en drones voort en verandert daarbij subtiel van karakter. Soms even wat luider, maar meestal kalm. De muziek weet mij volkomen aan de grond te nagelen. Kippenvel! Denk aan een mix van Labradford, Rothko, Roy Montgomery, Robin Guthrie, Slowdive en Mick Turner. Wonderschoon en misschien wel zijn beste album tot nu toe.
~ De Subjectivisten