Yellow6 – 5 (Silber Records)


Yellow5 - 5 (Silber Records)

The 25th instalment of Silber’s five-songs-in-five-minutes challenge sees Yellow6 – UK guitarist Jon Attwood – add occasional piano to his ambient-tinged guitar arsenal.

Now up to his fiftieth release, Attwood clearly has the skills to create guitar soundscapes that work in the Rothko/Stars of the Lid/Kranky vein. It’s unfortunate this release doesn’t allow them room to unfurl.

Unlike other releases in the series, Yellow6 seems to eschew the idea of unrelated songs and provides five minute-long pieces that seem designed to follow each other in order. Indeed, by 5‘s end tracks ‘5.4’ and ‘5.5’ flow straight into one another, their cleanly plucked chords jumping the song gap with ease.

The problem is that his sound seems irreconcilable with the limited time given to the EP.

In ‘5.1’, piano introduces the theme upon which the tracks seem built – a slow, minimal cascade over the top of repeated, static chords. Following tracks develop this slightly. ‘5.2’ sounds like Sling Blade-era Daniel Lanois, while ‘5.3’ brings to mind Charlie Owen’s guitar work on Louis Tillett’s Midnight Rain. ‘5.4’ brings a venomous, plodding chunk to the mix, coupled with a howling noise which manages not to upset the measured, clean chord pluckings that command attention, leading to the EP’s final Godspeed You Black Emperor guitar-neighbourhood track. .

It’s affecting stuff, but all too brief.

By the end of the five tracks, the listener is put in mind less of a musical challenge and more of a sound library demo disc. These snippets are great, but even if taken as one five-minute piece, lack the space they need to really sing. A shame, as what’s here certainly shines.



About Author

A curmudgeon, writer and sometime musician. He has played Japanese drums in Japan, guitar badly in Australia and will never be as cool as Keiji Haino. (But then, who is?)