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Laktating Yak biography
Founded in Houston, Texas in 2016

A Texas-based project LAKTATING YAK were founded as a Zeuhl / avantgarde / experimental rock sextet in 2016, massively inspired by Magma, Zappa, Univers Zero, Henry Cow, Samla Mammas Manna, etc. etc. The founders are Charles ANDERSON (violin, percussion), Tobin ARMSTRONG (bass), Charlie BRYAN (guitar), Angel GARCIA (drums, effects, voices, Danny KAMINS (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone), Edgar QUINTANA (tenor saxophone). Finally upon Friday, December 7th, 2018, LAKTATING YAK released the debut full-length opus "Origin Of The Yak" featuring violin, dueling saxophones, and operatic vocal soundscapes as elements of its eclectic sound, they mention.

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3.88 | 5 ratings
Origin Of The Yak

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 Origin Of The Yak by LAKTATING YAK album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.88 | 5 ratings

Origin Of The Yak
Laktating Yak Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars LAKTATING YAK sounds like an exotic band name that would emerge from somewhere in Nepal but this sextet was actually formed in Houston, TX and much like other Texas based bands that love high altitude creatures that live on the Tibetan plateau and beyond (like Yeti for example), this band cranks out a completely new and fresh way of melding together disparate aspects of progressive rock history as well as various influences from classical, jazz and even a touch of Canterbury and Zappa whimsy. The band was only formed in 2016 and released this debut ORIGIN OF THE YAK in 2018.

The band consists of Charles Anderson (violin, percussion), Tobin Armstrong (bass), Charlie Bryan (guitar), Angel Garcia (drums, effects, voices, Danny Kamins (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone) and Edgar Quintana (tenor saxophone). Also appearing as guest musicians are Henry Anderson who plays the occasional didgeridoo and opera singer Jocelyn Tara Hunt who contributes the sparse wordless vocals. The incredible artwork by Adam Elkhadem is a complete wrap around and one of the busiest album covers i've encountered in a while. The artwork extends to the inner sleeves as well and totally evokes the classic vinyl LP days.

The album starts off with a short otherworldly didgeridoo segment that creates an alternative Himalayan vibe which sets the stage for the avant-prog eclecticism to come. Once "Invokation Of The Yak Pt. 1" gets underway, it becomes apparent really quickly that LAKTATING YAK is equally inspired by the zeuhl rhythms of Magma as they are the chamber rock in opposition of Univers Zero, Henry Cow and Samla Mammas Manna. It ends with an extreme Paganini violin solo.

"The Errorist" is right out of the Picchio Dal Pozzo playbook with a hypnotic groove and those muffled echoed vocals in a group fashion. The syncopated electric guitar and haunting saxophone squeals takes this to an ethereal place but becomes more bombastic with heavy guitar stomps and John Zorn-esque sax freneticism but as the track carries on with its zeuhl rhythms keeping things steady, the track allows jazzy Coltrane type sax solos off the leash.

"Tsak Of The Yak" combines the zeuhl rhythmic drive with a Mahavishnu Orchestra type sound that sounds like something off "Birds Of Fire," with a piercing Jean Luc Ponty type of violin style and jazz-fusion drive but it also incorporates plenty of noisy heavy guitar distortion and dueling saxophone tradeoffs. It almost sounds as if John McLaughlin's band had hooked up with The Flying Luttenbuchers and tried to cover Magma songs but failed miserably only to create something more demented, more demanding and more eclectic.

"Stampede Of The Yak" begins with a military march drumming pattern before a clap symbol ushers in yet another Mahavishnu styled jazz-fusion / brutal prog / zeuhl stomp-a-thon. This one contains more horn attacks on multiple levels as well as some of the most demanding time signature hops on the entire album. While the track is rather chaotic, Tobin Armstrong's stellar bass performances crank out his best Jannick Top antics to keep an incessant groove in play to keep the track from collapsing from its own sense of adventurism. This one is a highlight.

"Hidden Yak Fantasy" finds the guitar tackling the zeuhl rhythms with high resister licks while a spooky violin and angelic vocal haunting conjure up a frightening background soundscape. This is the breath capturer of the album following the previous "Stampede" as it remains consistent rhythmic like a heartbeat and only offers slight dynamic shifts as the track sounds more ethnic as it closes. The violin retains its dominant presence throughout.

The closing "Invokation Of The Yak Pt. 2" recounts the meditative thumb cymbals and didgeridoo bringing the album full circle after its strenuous high maintenance journey but a couple minutes in staccato guitar chords are strummed and a haunting atmosphere allows the saxophones to paint upon the rhythmic canvas. The rhythm stays solid as all instruments stay in percussive unity with the bass and drum stomps with only a haunting violin "screaming" from the abyss. This one is downright scary as the saxophones and violin go crazy and then the rest of the instruments join in until complete chaos is unleashed.

LAKTATING YAK did a marvelous job crafting this debut album ORIGIN OF THE YAK. While implementing Magma-esque zeuhl rhythms create the backbone of the rhythmic drive, the melodic and atonal aspects are balanced quite deftly with jazz-fusion, avant- prog and ethnic folk uniting to create a rich tapestry of musical flavors. The album is so utterly addictive that it's over before you want it to be. This is one of those albums that contains all the complexities of a highly skilled prog band but somehow ties it altogether in a way that's completely accessible even upon first listen.

High energy outbursts trade off with serene pacifying segments and despite having an impending darkness embedded in the fabric, comes off rather light-hearted like a passing thunderstorm in a Bhuddist temple somewhere in Katmandu. One of my favorite bands of 2018 and one to keep your eye on for sure. Let this LAKTATING YAK find a way to give you that sweet avant-prog attack and i guarantee you'll like it and keep coming back!

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition.

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