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- Y6XV (merry6mas2013) by yellow6
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The people at Coca Cola like to think that their trucks clogging up Britain’s high streets are the sign of the impending march of Christmas. Here at Norman Records, however, over the past few years there has been another sign that the yuletide season is approaching, one which we anticipate from late October onwards and one which never lets us down: the arrival of the annual Yellow 6 ‘Merry Xmas’ CD.
In a bold attempt at bringing the tradition into the 21st century, this year it is entitled ‘Y6XV’ and, as usual, contains 60 minutes worth of unheard music from the ambient guitar master. In fact, we’re not even sure if Yellow 6 releases any non-yuletide timed albums anymore and presumably the work for the 2014 version has already started.
Fans of the series will know that there is absolutely no relation between any of the music and the festive season, being instead a series of beautifully constructed slo-mo instrumental pieces that never fail to charm. There is a darker edge to some of this year's material. ‘Calling Once More’ recalls those early eerie Low compositions so much so that you can almost hear Mimi Parker’s sweet voice preparing to drift across the top of it. ‘Calling (Last Call)’ has similar late-night spectral atmospheres, with spindly guitars picking out melodies at a snail's pace.
The music Yellow 6 produces is certainly in line with a lot of the great spacey, drifty music that came out on the Burnt Hair, Enraptured and Kranky labels around the middle of the 90s but it also has a timeless quality. Its drifty, evocative guitarscapes take you off into another world in the same way as music by Celer does. It's a cinematic journey and you can imagine it as the soundtrack to a grainy super 8 film of bleak snowy American midwest snowscapes.
Despite the seasonal theme, this is an album for life, not just for Christmas.
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