by Olivier LaRoche
Yawn Care is the second project released by the Winnipeg-based artist of the same name. The influence of this city is more than apparent throughout the album. It offers all the entrancing wonder that an ambient record should bring, but does so in a surprisingly concise manner.
There is a fine line separating background noise from genuinely intriguing music in the genre, and Yawn Care manages to walk that line perfectly. The title track “Cassette, Attempt” starts us off with these hazy, gentle chords that summon a dreamlike atmosphere. The drums that join in not long after help drive the song along, and the hesitancy of the chords over the steady beat creates a pattern impossible to ignore. This contrast creates the stunning balance between the entrancing quality of the song and it’s driving energy as if the dream is advancing towards its next chapter rather than staying put.
On “Velocity Boi” we are greeted with dialogue samples and the sound of distant sirens, suggesting we are perhaps in the city. The swelling pads come in with the same sort of haze as on the previous track, but this time the beat is more industrial and frantic, allowing the song to drift away.
The third track begins with the white noise of the city, the sound of engines, and the familiar repetitive tune of a Winnipeg crosswalk light. The dismal, distorted synths that appear following pitched down vocal samples that speak of evil spirits suggest we may be on the cold streets of Winnipeg at night. With every song, the project brings our journey and destination into greater focus and detail.
On “F’wippian” the same sirens welcome us back, but the song offers a much more relaxed tone, similar to the energy of the first track and vastly different from the previous two songs. The lush saxophone passages signal a certain level of peace has been attained in our journey. The night is coming to its satisfying end, beyond the chaos and darkness suggested previously.
Finally, on the closer “Challenger Deep”, the warm familiarity returns with the sounds of passing vehicles and the pleasant chirps of sparrows. The eleven-minute track feels reflective, as if we are recalling the events of last night. Yawn Care is a gem of an ambient record and offers a familiar and accurate sonic portrait of our city of Winnipeg.