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  Portal and Yellow6  
  Make Mine Music  
Release Date:
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This is the very first release from Make Mine Music, a new music collective out of England. This release features founding MMM members Portal (Scott Sinfield) and Yellow6 (Jon Attwood) providing both solo material and working together as a duo.

Both artists make very similar music. They are both guitarists, who record with drum machines and who also sometimes loop bass or piano into the picture. The only difference is that occasionally Portal works with vocalist Rachel Hughes. Yellow6 is (to date) purely instrumental.

The first 2 tracks on the album are Portal songs. Only the first, Hold features Ms. Hughes' vocals. The guitarwork on this song is exquisite, but her voice is a little over-produced. That is, it is quite up-front, and perhaps a little cleaner than it needs to be. Her singing style is vaguely gothy: precise pronunciation and only slightly drawn out syllables. The overall effect is to make this song sound like a teenage goth band from Florida. It's good, but not their best work.

The second Portal track is quite nice. It's called The First Breath of Winter and is a mostly piano song. Sinfield plays a charming little piano melody over guitar drone and a drum track. Simple, yet nicely done.

The next two tracks are from Yellow6, and the first one, Threefold is another stunning work from this artist. It starts inauspicously, with a reverbed guitar strumming away. Then a skittering beat comes in and a layer of guitar drone is added in the background. The beat grows more erratic, more IDM-ish, as the drone in general grows, until finally the whole thing positively explodes, with fuzzed out drum hits and overdriven guitar. It's a really good tune.

Yellow6's second track, The Sinking Sun is again more piano based. (I wonder if they planned it so that each act's second song was a piano tune?) At any rate, Attwood's piano is sparser than Sinfield's. This is a long really mellow ambient tune. It's pretty good, but not among Yellow6's best work.

The last four tracks on this disc are, in many ways, the most interesting. On these 4 tracks, Attwood and Sinfield collaborated, working their guitar drone magic together to create 4 lovely ambient tracks.

The first of them is called #2 and Yellow6's guitar sound really sort of dominates this track. It has his signature loud trebly drone, but the counterpoint drone laid down by Portal really works well. Simply put, this is an awesome ambient guitar drone track.

In fact, all of them are well done ambience. Well, except for the final track, #3, which is more noisy drone that ambient drone. (And as such is well suited to closing out such an album -- it brings you back into focus after the wandering of all the previous tracks.)

Of particular interest is the third collaborative track, titled #4. This song features lots of echo on strummed guitars played over washes of drum sound. It really reminds me of an outtake from The Moon and the Melodies, or perhaps something from Robin Guthrie's recent solo album. At any rate, this is a simply lovely little track.

Overall, i am very impressed with this release. It is exactly the type of stuff i like to listen to, and it is well done. If you are into drone or ambient music, then this is a very nice purchase. I don't really think that this music has a lot of crossover potential, and in fact i bet that i could lull other Minions to sleep with this..... So be forwarned that this music is quite genre-specific, and not for everybody.

I hope that Make Mine Music continues to live up to the promise this release makes.

Related Links:

New-Found-Land, a trypotych released shortly after this album that also features Yellow6.


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