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Yellow6 – About The Journey

Yellow6 is the performing name of Jon Attwood. Jon is a fine guitarist and composer of predominantly instrumental pieces which have been variously described as ‘ambient’, ‘post rock’ and/or ‘minimalist electronica’. The quality of Yellow6 back-catalogue is shockingly consistent. His releases number well into double figures. They may actually be threatening treble now, yet they remain absorbing. There’s a maturity of sound and an appreciation of space and silence that comes with mastery of an instrument combined with the appreciation of those aforementioned genres.

Of late, Jons’ output has veered increasingly minimal. It is utterly at odds with today’s ‘instant gratification’, Millennial zeitgeist. As a former punk, it is tempting to position Attwood as rebelling against the conformity of the present day precisely by doing the contrary. The irony of that is that Yellow6’s music is close(r) now to the progressive rock that the original punks rallied against. The phase ‘Punk Floyd’ (applied to Bark Psychosis) could so easily be attached to Attwood and his music. His ‘First Day’ and ‘Last Day’ sequence on the latest record could easily belong in the same universe as Bark Psychosis classic Hex album. Is Yellow6 post post-rock? (Or post post-punk even?) I wouldn’t want to push either angle really. The likelihood is, Yellow6 music sounds the way it does simply because Jon loves the guitar and can’t stop plucking away, searching until a melody or theme surfaces that he deems worthy of recording.

It’s his calling.

About The Journey builds on previous Yellow6 works. Some of the cuts here have aired already as live versions on his Silent Strategies release. ‘Death Of Nostalgia’ and ‘Custom’ complete the alumni. I find Jons’ guitar work faintly inflected with an Iberian lilt. In that respect he brings to mind Vini Reilly without resembling Durutti Column music. For a closer approximation to the sound and mood of Yellow6 we could mention Labradford or the solo material of Robin Guthrie. However on …Journey, I’m detecting a bit more angst than usual. A more furrowed brow. It’s as though someone took Mogwai’s Come On Die Young opus and distilled it down to almost elemental level. A record, of course which begins with ‘Punk Rock’.

A one man Mogwai may not be everyone’s cup of Earl Grey but I’m rather partial!

Once a punk, always a punk? If Attwood remains an agitator he is a blissful one indeed. Certainly there are few ‘quick fixes’ within his recent discography. You need to go back to his Make Mine Music days, (that’s the label he co-founded to release records by the likes of Portal and epic45) to find material resembling pop. Instead Yellow6 is a world of contemplative dronescapes, beautiful repetition, themes and reveries. You visit and you drift away.

About The Journey is available now on Sound In Silence.

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