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Yahowa 13: Sonic Portation

The band originated as a backing group to Father Yod, a self-styled spiritual guru and owner of an LA Health Food Restaurant who sadly died in an unlikely hang gliding accident in 1975. With the recent publication of a book about the so-called Source Family, the original members of Yahowa 13 reunited and recorded some improvisations which have now been released as Sonic Portation. With gong like monikers such Djin, Octavius and Sunflower, present a series of 6 pieces of spaced out psychedelia.

"E ah o shin" is a play on the word sounds of the band name and the sleeve notes make a variety of meaningless statements linking coincidences together to appear more than they are. The output though, as with most quasi-religious inspirations, is worth a listen and undoubtedly engenders the movement of spirit in its believers which often creates wonderful sacred music. Oscillating bass, crystalline sitar and delicate percussion combine in a promising opening. Raga Nova is what it says – a new raga and perhaps the best thing on the album to my ears with its rocking and rolling theme containing hints of its Indian forebears.

"Yod Hey…" is a mathematical chanting song based around a triangular structure, and drawing on meditational principles with of course a reverent reference to the sect's founding 'father'. Again its blown up in the sleeve notes to have some humano-centric bit of 'meaning' but its still quite entertaining though for all that. The fourth piece neatly connects the electrical ohm with the spiritual Om and manifests itself as an infectious driving rhythm with some great guitar work. "Qundalini" is a reference to a metaphysical serpent of Yogic concept and starts with a low chant and electrified guitar scratching which gradually builds in volume and intensity to a climactic flourish, presumably reflecting the mythical serpent's awakening and mental melding with its host as he or she reaches 'true' consciousness. "In and Out" is a sexual reference which should need little explanation.

Overall, good music for stone huggers which the rest of us can still enjoy without the hype if we like. Father Yod would be pleased I think.

Track Listing
1. E ah o shin
2. Raga Nova
3. Yod hey vau hey tetractys
4. Travelling Ohm
5. Big Qundalini
6. In and out

Added: March 18th 2009
Reviewer: Richard Barnes
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2849
Language: english

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