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What do i love about Ambient Music? Well, i suppose i love that it nevers DEMANDS attention. It just exists, in the background, and you can pay attention to its serenity, or you can focus on other things. It's like a cat i suppose. It doesn't demand attention too often, not like a dog would. But if you want to pay attention to it, both of you can have a good time.

Yellow6's music is a small cat perched on the edge of the sofa. You can go about your business and it's cool with that. But if you really focus on it, you will find that it is a surprisngly complex thing, and that it accomplishes much with little effort. Like a cat that can sit there, for hours on end, half asleep half awake, waiting for some small prey animal/bug to walk by. It is patient.

And then at twilight it runs around the apartment like it's tail is on fire, for no good reason.

Well, maybe my analogy breaks down at that point. But what i am trying to get at here is that the music on this album is subtle, and calm. If you just sort of half hear it is pleasant enough. But if you pay attention, it rewards you with depth and quality. There is some amazing guitarwork being done here, and some nice work with a drum machine as well.

Indeed, that is the secret to the work of Yellow6: it's seems simple on the surface, but if you focus on it you realize that it is well done and intricate.

This is, i think, the third full-length from Yellow6. It came out in December of 2001 on Ochre, a tiny little label somewhere in the UK. I kept searching and searching for it, and finally i found a copy this past February at the actual Yellow6 site. Thank goodness he finally got PayPal -- his work is very difficult to find otherwise.

So it took me forever to find this album, but i have thoroughly enjoyed it since then. Yellow6 has again crafted a subtle washed out work of guitar drone and mild electronic beats. In general, well, this is a Yellow6 album. If distorted guitar instrumentals do not appeal to you, then this probably isn't a good purchase for you. On the other hand, if acts like Lanterna, Windy & Carl, and Aarktica appeal to you, then Lake:Desert is a worthwhile addition to your collection.

Mostly the album blends into a subtle haze, but there are a few standout points that i enjoy. Half Life gets a really nice head-bopping kind of drone going, with nice dubby thwunked drums in the background. Hardwire also bears a dub influence, here in the form of echoed drum hits appearing periodically behind the guitar wash. Both of these tunes really work for me.

Post is a bit more noisy than much of Yellow6's work these days. The guitar is overdriven and fuzzy, not just echoed, and the bass is deep and dark. This is a good, energetic tune, and it comes about half-way through the album. As such, it serves as a good "wake back up" point. This song is followed immediately by Badwater, which is dominated by a rumbling bass riff that hovers over vague IDM beats. I find this track interesting in that it hints at the sound of the Source:Remix album, while actually predating it.

There are two additional tracks that go the other direction: rather than being very innovative and loud, these are soft and very typical of the genre, but both are very well done. Lovely little tunes in fact. These are Racing Rockets, which is an echoing piano piece, and Fallen Trees, in which Yellow6 cuts loose with a subtle flamenco-y rhythm in the drone. Both are not too innovative, but both are lovely.

So, overall this is a good effort. I applaud what Yellow6 is doing, and enjoy his experiments.

Related Links:

Source:Remix, Yellow6 songs re-constructed.
New Found Land, a recent tryptych featuring Yellow6.


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