Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Yahowa 13 - 1974 - To The Principles For The Children

Yahowa 13
1974
To The Principles For The Children




01. Side A (16:58)
02. Side B (10:37)

- Father Yod / vocals, kettle drum, gong
- Djinn / guitars
- Sunflower / bass
- Octavius / drums




The final Yahowa 13 project on which Father Yod appeared before his 1975 death is a return of sorts to the kind of record making he favored with his early Father Yod & the Spirit of '76 albums. As on those LPs, there are just two side-long tracks, simply titled "Side A" and "Side B," totaling about 25 minutes together (ending with kids chanting an ode to Yahowa). Perhaps these are a little more subdued than those early Father Yod LPs, and on a slightly higher instrumental plane, due mainly to guitarist Djin Aquarian's swirling palette of tones. It's generic Father Yod/Yahowa 13, if there could be such a thing: the psychedelic seer as stump speaker, perhaps. When he sings softest and deepest, he sounds like an amateur Tim Buckley; when (as is more often his wont) he sings louder, it sounds like Bruce Hampton, but far more annoying and sophomoric. The music lacks structure and melodic shape, and will strike most not as middling improvisation, but substandard, often loony strangeness, with a guitarist who seems too good for his company. When he squalls "You'll live forever!" at one point, it's hard not to get spooked, since he died in a hang-gliding accident (on his first hang-gliding excursion) shortly after the recording.

Yahowa 13 - 1974 - I'm Gonna Take You Home

Yahowa 13
1974
I'm Gonna Take You Home




01. One (7:46)
02. Two (7:14)
03. Three (5:27)
04. Four (16:33)
05. Five (12:55)

- Father Yod / Vocals
- Djin / Guitar
- Sunflower / Bass
- Octavius / Drums
- Zinuru / Sound




Yahowa 13's previous two albums, particularly this one's immediate predecessor (Penetration: An Aquarian Symphony), were a substantial, even huge, improvement over their previous recordings. This was in large part because of the near-absence of Father Yod. So when Yod immediately takes to the mike to unleash his gristly groan-speak vocals at the beginning of the first track of I'm Gonna Take You Home, it's hard to suppress a moan. Much of the ground gained by Penetration is lost, the group -- whose spelling, for some reason, was changed to Yahowha 13 with the addition of an extra "H" -- sliding back into disheveled psychedelic jams, dominated by the crude philosophizing and even cruder singing of Father Yod. The band had developed into better players over the course of the previous LPs, and some of those peculiar talents are in evidence, such as Djin Aquarian's knack for odd psychedelic distortion, and tribal rhythms and gongs. There's only so much that can be done, however, in the context of Father Yod's rambling, tuneless songs. When he's not singing, in a manner of speaking, he's imitating a buzzing bee or, more palatably, whistling in an Ennio Morricone-ish manner. Tellingly, these five extended numbers have no titles other than "Track One," "Track Two," and so on, as a throwback to the Father Yod & the Spirit of 76 LPs, where tracks were simply identified as "Side A" and "Side B." The cover shot of a nude Father Yod in a position of copulation with a nude young woman ensured that the record would not be stocked by Woolworth's, which was hardly the intention of the band in any case.

Yahowa 13 - 1974 - Penetration - An Aquarian Symphony

Yahowa 13 
1974 
Penetration - An Aquarian Symphony





01. Yod He Vau He (11:25)
02. Ho (5:32)
03. Journey Thru An Elemental Kingdom (9:23)
04. Ya Ho Wha (13:24)

- Father Yod / Vocals
- Djin / Guitar
- Sunflower / Bass
- Octavius / Drums
- Zinuru / Sound




What a shiny, slimy instrumental perforation. Let me say this album "Penetration - An Aquarian Symphony" is a kind of Bible for us Krautrock believers.
From the beginning Father Yod's Orientally spiritual, meditative voice cloud and Djin's funkadelic, hypnotic guitar discussion shower, both have been squeezed into our right brain via ears. Echoic shadow with their instrumental moonshine we can feel directly, and mysterious, scattered guitar solos and tribal beats bind our body strictly. Although their soundscape has Kraut-ish rumple and fuzz indeed, their strong commune conscience we cannot avoid at all. Guess Guru can unify them as a spiritual community with his mind altering canon and especially with his musical rebellion. Not so difficult for us too but fine to leave our body and soul as we like.

The third track "Journey Thru An Elemental Kingdom" notifies us this way, with quiet bell ringing and dry, desert string-based shouts of pleasure and freakout. Some heavy tricky tips are kinda killer, whilst we can feel that complete calmness, stillness make sense for us. Heavy, hijacking madness can be heard in the last part, that launches tough meditation and medication into us. The eponymous track, that looks like they (especially Father) have penetrated remarkable enthusiasm, has two brilliant scenes - the first is like under a calm circumstance before the storm, along with whistle and percussion seasoned with eccentric synth noises, and the latter part is a real heavy, deep ritual for The Spirit named Ya Ho Wha, constructed with loud, metallic guitar sadness and wacky drum / percussion madness.

This mixture strategy is superb, and their creativity for such a short while (until Father Yod's tragic death) is really surprising, amazing.

Yahowa 13 - 1974 - Savage Sons Of Yahowa

Yahowa 13 
1974 
Savage Sons Of Yahowa



01. Edge of a Dream (2:11)
02. Fire in the Sky (5:07)
03. Just Sitting Here (4:01)
04. A Thousand Sighs (7:30)
05. Red River Valley (4:48)
06. Man the Messiah (4:57)
07. Making a Dollar (5:34)
08. I Thought I Am (4:40)
09. Oh Ya Ho Wa (2:01)

- Father Yod / vocals, kettle drum, gong
- Djinn / guitar
- Sunflower / bass
- Octavius / drums



Father Yod Yahowa's strange journey continued to take unpredictable twists on Yahowa 13's second album. Like Father Yod & the Spirit of '76's All or Nothing at All, this was so sonically unrelated to any of their prior recordings that it sounded like the work of an entirely different group of musicians. Unlike All or Nothing at All, it was also a change for the better. Not entirely accidentally, Father Yod himself does not appear on the album, ceding control of the music to Sunflower Aquarian, Djin Aquarian, Rhythm Aquarian, and Octavious Aquarian. It is obvious that one or more of these guys must have been huge Neil Young & Crazy Horse fans, as about half the songs are rougher approximations of his hard rock sound circa the early 1970s. And while those cuts are derivative, they're not half bad either. The vocals on "Edge of a Dream" are an especially spooky Neil Young soundalike, and "Red River Valley" has a nice hard rock spin on the kinds of melodies Young used on compositions like "Old Man." "Making a Dollar" is rustic, hard country-rock Crazy Horse with a touch of Harrison-esque Beatles. A few of the cuts eschew the overt Young influence for eccentric, roots-flavored hard rock. The vocals on these are so much throatier and blacker -- in the mode of a grainier Dr. John or War -- that it doesn't seem they could possibly be the work of the same singer. (The credits, as usual for Yahowa, don't shed any definite light on the situation.) This is the first Yod/Yahowa disc that can be accepted as a legitimate rock record on its own terms, rather than as a novelty of sorts. Were it done by some other obscure band on an independent label, one wouldn't think to make the connection between the music and the sort of eccentric mysticism that Yod and his followers practiced.

Yahowa 13 - 1974 - Yahowa 13

Yahowa 13
1974
Yahowa 13




01. Because 3:45
02. Angel 1:28
03. Magical Lady 5:30
04. Little Doggie 4:45
05. A Kind Of Depression 6:55
06. Warden 5:30
07. Mailman 5:00
08. Come Come 4:45
09. Pain 4:15

- Father Yod / vocals, kettle drum, gong
- Djinn / guitar
- Sunflower / bass
- Octavius / drums



Yahowa 13 were basically a continuation of the loose ensembles that released four albums under the name Father Yod & the Spirit of '76. The main link between them, of course, was Father Yod himself, leader of the cult/sect from which these recordings emerged. For the first Yahowa 13 outing, Father Yod and his followers seemed to be making a determined effort to tread a more conventional, song-oriented path than the meandering psychedelic jams that most of the Spirit of '76 albums had. The playing isn't bad, with a tighter and bluesier feeling than the Spirit of '76 discs; the influence of the Mick Taylor-era Rolling Stones, for instance, is obvious on "Because." The problem, once again, is Father Yod, who is no singer despite his obvious enthusiasm for the enterprise. He does seem more restrained and conscientious on this album, which is good, since he's at his most grating the louder he tries to shout. He even approximates a bizarre "Can't Help Falling in Love"-style Elvis Presley vocal from time to time, especially on "Angel Boy" and "Magical Lady." The songs, however, aren't too good, and the semi-off-the-cuff-sounding lyrics not that profound. It gets into some dark material at times, with repetitious gloomy riffs that go into the less sunny sides of the mystical experience, as on "Kind of Depressing" and "Pain."

Father Yod And The Spirit Of '76 - 1974 - All Or Nothing At All

Father Yod And The Spirit Of '76 
1974 
All Or Nothing At All




01. I Can Read Your Mind
02. Home
03. Take A Ride
04. Every Morning
05. Renaissance
06. Party Song
07. Hurry Home
08. Different Dreams

Bonus
09. Lady
10. Do Me
11. Woman


Bass – Sunflower Aquarian
Drums – Octavius Aquarian
Guitar – Djin Aquarian

Although present on the album cover and credited by the Source Family, Father Yod does not perform on this LP.




If the eccentric-mesmeric psych rock project Ya Ho Wha 13 deserves the attention of all prog listeners, Father Yod and the Spirit of the '76 is just a curiosity for absolute fans of the guru and his spiritual tribe. Father Yod and the Spirit of the '76 is the first Father Yod musical incarnation. It features the usual gallery of musicians with the omnipresent and creative Djin Aquarian on guitars. This album has been published by the Source Family but curiously Father Yod is absent of the recording sessions. Moreover we can hardly perceive the influence of his auratic mystical splendor on the album. Conceptually his peaceful and enthusiastic philosophy is supposed to remain an inspired guide for the musicians. Musically speaking this is utterly disappointed. All or Nothing at all figures among the less interesting and less absorbing albums from Father Yod. To sum up things, it is a vague, passable collection of acid folk-ish songs with ponctual naïve pop accents and soft melodic airs. Father Yod's haunted-cathartic ceremonials and darkly lyseric psych jams have gone in order to let the place to standardised, mediocre and pseudo romantic hippie stuff

While there is no such thing as a typical Father Yod/Yahowa record, All or Nothing at All, the last album billed to Father Yod & the Spirit of '76, is probably the least typical. Father Yod himself, for the first time, did not appear on the record (although he's on the cover), and the haphazard psychedelic improv of the previous three Father Yod outings had vanished. Instead there was timid singer/songwriter soft rock, written and performed by various members of the Yod clan (both men and women), from the sound of things (there are no credits with the disc). The preponderance of piano ballads leads one to believe that Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush" was a serious hit around the Yod camp. There are also obvious shades of Carole King, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Elton John, and Imagine-era John Lennon. Should someone ever decide to do a rarities compilation solely composed of rejected singer/songwriter demos submitted to major labels in the early 1970s, it would probably sound something like this: well-intentioned, derivative, benign, and relatively uninspired. Only on the jolly-to-the-point-of-idiocy singalong "Party Song" are there traces of the mania characterizing the Yod/Yahowa output. It's undoubtedly the Father Yod/Yahowa effort that will appeal least to the psych-heads who covet their rarities. Conversely, it's probably the only one (with the possible exception of Savage Sons of Yahowa) that mainstream listeners could stand to hear without demanding that it be taken off the stereo.