Released a week apart from the Shimmering Moods release “Eslandtika”, “Dissimilar Lake Pigments” is the follow-up to last years “An Instant For A Momentary Desolation” also on Rottenman Editions.
“Dissimilar Lake Pigments was born from Yi’s fascination with natural pigments and the many sensations that the impact of seeing its wide range of intense colors produced.
This album tries to convey those same feelings, in order to explain the complexity of its colors with sounds, which can remind us of its previous publications as “Falling into Crevasse” and “Redemption comes with Dawn“. Seven songs composed with organic dyes and a pink aura that takes us to Lake Hillier; invite us to discover the attraction of its mysterious beauty. “
“Veiled Points” brings forth a churning ever winding drone that feels like its rotating 360°. A shrill drone emanates off it like a melodic siren that is slightly bathed in static. There feels like a whole depth of sound textures and colors within the drones that engages you. It is not just the same old sounds going on into infinity. Just before the track ends a reduction of sorts happens and you are left with a facsimile of sound.
“Lake Pigments” is a slow burn of a piece. It takes it time to slowly emerge from silence with long drones that stretch out before repeating. A distorted layer reveals itself on top which along with a swirling static and higher drone focuses your attention. But, for me its the underlying almost bass line like drone that is the heart of the piece. Fractured fits and starts occur with more feedback like drones swirling around creating a multi layered piece that feels like the dawn rising along a still lake with natural sounds of wind rushing and howling providing the soundtrack.
“Rag” guitar parts reverberate with a finger picked sound, field recordings crackle and a bed of ambience slowly surrounds the guitar. An Additional distorted, but also melodic drone crashes over the guitar, almost like some sort if electrical interference. The guitar playing sounds relaxed, but with a touch of an improv feel to it. The two main elements are from different spheres, yet Yi gets them to work nicely together.
“Never Ends” submerged and distorted pieces that are heavily effect laden and feel distant. The opening sound is similar to a title if rock being thrown into a body of water and the splashing sound it makes. This track feels like it is sounds that were recorded inside a cave. The sounds are unclear and buried under a cloak.
“Clumsy Hands” small wafts of orchestral like drones loop and build ever so slowly. Snatches of melody become embedded in which have a similar sound to string instruments like violin or cello. Parts of the playing starts to become feverish with the sounds being more and more expressive, as if letting go and seeing how far they can reach. There is a slight mournful quality embedded within the music, but for the majority it is exalting.
“Thirty Eight” I am not sure what the title reference can mean, but this piece feels like it shares stylistic elements with “Never Ends” and possibly “Lake Pigments”. There is a throat singing / SunnO))) like deep drone that is in the centre of the track, while squalls of drone cascade around like they are being driven by weather. Occasional crackles or static pops up adding to this environmental feel. The track definitely lies in the Dark Ambient side of the genre with a certain level of ominous feeling about it.
“Safety Pins” just when you thought Yi might end the album on a lighter side after the previous track, that thought is turned upside down. The album’s closer is a rippling distortion filled piece of the type of music commonly attributed to investigating memory. It feels like music that has decayed, like an old tape has been discovered and the after it has been baked it’s played once last time as it falls apart. Some elements become detritus while other soar, there are parts that continue to hold form while others break down.
For the album Yi has utilized colors to influence the recordings on this release. What he has also done is to keep it open to interpretation with not over stating the theme in the titles of each tracks. Indeed, the only mention is the track title “Lake Pigments” and the reference in the press to Lake Hillier which you can see at the bottom of this review. However, what Yi does do is consistently demonstrate his ability to release quality drone. It is easy to notice bad drone music with its one-dimensional clumsy approach, but with Yi the textures, depths, tone and pacing are all apparent and enjoyable to take in. There are still some copies of the limited edition version of this cassette as pictured below, or there is equally fine-looking standard edition.