Thirty years is quite a stretch of dormancy for any band, but that’s how long it took for psych-rock lifers and true mothership-believing weirdos Yahowa 13 to finally produce new music. The three remaining members of the quartet — band godhead Father Yod passed in ’75 — received an offer to record carte blanche for two days at a studio in Pasadena, California and the resulting album, Sonic Portation sounds as though they had no problem picking up the transmissions again.
The group’s music shares much more in common with the cosmic jams of their Japanese counterparts in Acid Mothers Temple and Ghost than they do with the dilettante freak-folk set staking claim to most of America’s psychedelic tag. Their songs are full of chants, rumbles and drones with notes that feel as though they could stretch out over the eons of space to hit whichever celestial body might be tuned into their frequency. “Raga Nova” is, unsurprisingly, dubbed a “new raga” in the liner notes and while it has its droning basics down it also evokes the apocalyptic bluster of Godspeed more than most anything rung out of a sitar in the last few centuries. “Big Kundalini” keeps the beat with a fairly huge drum circle jockeying alongside the mounting free jazz noise of the remaining instruments.
It’s too early to tell if Sonic Portation is the comeback record for Yahowa 13 or their career coda. In any case, it makes a fine statement for relevancy for a band that was decades ahead of its time.
Prophase Music: www.prophasemusic.com