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Ya Ho Wha 13 - The Feather Of Wisdom  CD (album) cover


Ya Ho Wha 13



4.00 | 2 ratings

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4 stars Remembering Father Yod ...

A gig of this band missing Father Yod, the spiritual mastermind - is that working in any way? YA HO WHA 13 (sometimes also written YA HO WA 13 or YAHOWA 13) was originally formed in the early 70s and one musical incarnation of 'The Source Family' community living in the Hollywood Hills similar to other hippie communes oriented at eastern religions. Tons of odd acid psychedelic improvised material under several monikers and with changing members had been produced which causes confusion sometimes. The musical legacy was re-issued by some labels in the meanwhile. Father Yod, originally named James Edward Baker, died in 1975 by a mysterious hang-gliding accident which never could be clarified down to the last detail and the community fall apart afterwards. But there are still some people trying to keep up the old spirit and the former band mates Sunflower, Octavius and Djin are amongst them.

Some reunions were celebrated in the past and one gig from November 2007 at Cafe Du 'Nord in San Francisco was recorded and excerpts were used for this vinyl production. Some differences are to point out matching to the majority of the earlier output after more than 30 years. If someone is hoping for a complete reincarnation of that ambiance he'll be disappointed. Two important songs of the 'Penetration - An Aquarian Symphony' album are reworked here dressed in new clothes. Probably as a respect to the former band leader the vocals are reserved. Nearly in the same way as on the album 'I'm Gonna Take You Home' the band is a lot more rocking and grooving than spiritually meandering through time and space.

Ya Ho Wha alone - the initial band song as the title implies - fills one LP side with a fuzzy spaced out parforce run on the guitar. The Father Of Wisdom comes near to the old spirit - drifting, spacey, nearly ambient - a very gripping one but unfortunately faded out after three and half minutes. Homegrown Rising on the other hand remembers much at Tony McPhee's Groundhogs, a high speed boogie dominated by a weird acid guitar once again. A pumping sometimes overdriven bass pushes Yod He Vau He which is another classic song from 'Penetration' - a damned grooving thing with spaced out guitar and compared to the original hard to recognize. The mechanical hypnotic style originally caused by Father Yod's timbal for example is substituted now by the powerful rhythm section of the band.

This album offers superb psychedelic jams - remembering at the old days only in parts and apparently modernized - not really comparable to the mind-blowing 70s mood where Father Yod dominated the songs with his voice and coolness. The band's special craziness has decreased a little bit in the meanwhile. Never mind - probably even an improvement - 'The Feather Of Wisdom' is a recommended live document.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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