Friday, February 2, 2007

Father Yod(YAHOWA13)- Penetration :An aquarian symphony, LP, 1975, USA (NWW list!)

Ya Ho Wha 13 were formed in 1969 in the Los Angeles area by one of the most eccentric freaks of the time, a middle-aged beatnik called Jim Baker who believed himself a god and went by the nickname of Father Yod. Their extreme psychedelic sound, that employed tribal drums and distorted guitars in a deliberately childish manner (all unrehearsed live and with no overdubs, editing or design), was the ultimate product of the hippie era.
The band (tighly related to Father Yod' religious cult, the "Source", and to a vegetarian restaurant located in Hollywood) frequently changed name to The Savage Sons of Yahowha, Yodship, Fire Water Air, Spirit of 76, but the key players were always the same (Djin Aquarian on guitar, Octavious Aquarian on drums, Sunflower Aquarian on bass, and occasionally Sky Saxon of the Seeds).
Kohoutek (Higher Key, 1973) was the debut album of the Spirit Of 76, which also released Contraction (1974 - Swordfish, 2006), Expansion (1974), All Or Nothing At All (1974) and some singles.
Yahowa 13 are credited for Penetration - An Aquarian Symphony (1974 - Higher Key, 2004 - Swordfish, 2005), which stands as Father Yod's masterpiece (or, better, Djin Aquarian's masterpiece) and one of the milestones in psychedelic-rock.
Djin Aquarian wrote:
"The Penetration sound came out as it is because of all the band members inputs at 4 in the morning, which is when we recorded at this family meditation. Father Yod was the greatest influence in developing this sound with me. Father Yod was the leader and teacher of our commune of 144 people in Hollywood and it was he who felt called to produce, sing and play tympany and 40" diameter gong, on much of the 65 albums we made, most of which have been destroyed (but 9 remain that are being re-released on Swordfish). None of the music or lyrics were pre-conceived. We built our own garage studio, recorded, did the art work, manufactured and distributed all on our own resources from working at our health food restaurant on Sunset Strip."
More typical of their message-driven music were Savage Sons of Yahowa (1974), I'm Gonna Take You Home (1974 - Swordfish, 2004), To The Principles For The Children (1975). At their best Yahowa 13 performed lengthy instrumental jams that could easily swing from silence to walls of white noise.
At the end of 1974 the whole commune moved to Hawaii. The band dissolved, but other Father Yod projects included Golden Sunrise by Fire Water Air and singles released as Yodship.
Father Yod died in an accident in 1975 and Sky Saxon became a full-time member of the band and of the cult.
Ya Ho Wha 13's The Operetta (Swordfish, 2005) documents a previously unreleased album of 1975, presumably one of their last recordings.
The entire Father Yod opus has been collected on a 13-cd boxset, God and Hair (Captain Trip, 2001). Only a handful of people had heard his music before this reissue.
Djin Aquarian has continued making music.
A freaked out psych masterpiece!


john said...

Penetration is my absolute favorite album of all time!!! I still remember distinctly the first time I heard it, within the first 30 seconds I could tell that I was in for an awesome trip. My only complaint about this ablum is that it is so powerful and absorbing, I can only listen to it a couple of times a year. All praise Yahowha!

Anonymous said...

Even while lucid, Penetration is one of the scariest aural experiences I have ever had.

Could you please post Expansion and Contraction as well?

C B said...

You're doing an awesome job. I noticed the

Father Yod(YAHOWA13)- Penetration :An aquarian symphony, LP, 1975, USA (NWW list!)

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