Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

YAK

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Yak picture
Yak biography
YAK were a 4 piece instrumental progressive rock band who played between '82 & '84. The line up consisted of Robin Hodder (guitar), SySnell (bass), John Wynn (drums) & Martin Morgan (keyboards). The band stopped playing when jobs took the members to disperate parts of the UK. The material had only ever been recorded in Lo-Fi but Martin was determined that it should not be 'lost'. In 2003 he set about re-recording 8 of the YAK tracks which were released as the "Dark Side of the Duck" album in Feb '04. Following this and enthused with the response, the band re-formed - original line up, but now with Max Johnson on bass. A live EP, "Does Your Yak Bite ?" was released in 2005, and the same line-up released the jam collection "The Rutland Chronicles" the following year.

Yak had not yet managed to capture a sound real close to their heart in the studio though, but in 2008, 2 years after it's first planned release, "Journey of the Yak" was issued. On this creation the influences of the symphonic masters of yesteryear; GENESIS, CAMEL and UK; really came to it's right - mixed with dreamier and ambient segments not too unsimilar to the works of an artist like BJORN LYNNE.

It's worth noting that the recording line-up changed while the recording of this album took place. Morgan started recording this production by himself; and published some of the new recordings on Yak's MySpace page. These recordings caught the attention of drummer Dave Speight (WHIMWISE), who wanted to participate on this project. He brought longtime accomplice Gary Bennett (bass) with him; and the input of those two fine musicians undoubtedly have had an impact on the evolvement of the style of music pursued by YAK on this production.

WHY IS THIS BAND LISTED AT PROGARCHIVES:
Influenced by acts like GENESIS and CAMEL, and incorporating stylistic elements from artists like UK and BJORN LYNNE, the evolved form of symphonic rock mixed with dreamy and ambient segments presented on their 2008 album "Journey of the Yak" saw to it that YAK was approved for inclusion by the Neo Progressive team.

-----

The early history of YAK contains material written by
: : : Martin Morgan, Asheldham Essex : : :

YAK Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to YAK

Buy YAK Music


Pursuit of Momentary HappinessPursuit of Momentary Happiness
Third Man Records 2019
$17.36
$17.80 (used)
Alas SalvationAlas Salvation
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2016
$5.95
$4.45 (used)
Quest For The StonesQuest For The Stones
Yaksongs
$15.99
$19.97 (used)
Journey Of The YakJourney Of The Yak
Yaksongs
$15.99
$14.00 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
COASTERS "YAKETY YAK / ZING WENT THE STRINGS OF MY HEART" 45 USD $3.75 Buy It Now
YAKITY YAK Played Beethoven And Lost L.P. SIGNED Rock Pop Prog Rare ! USD $50.40 Buy It Now
THE COASTERS - Yakety Yak - 1980 UK single UK 2-track 7" Vinyl Single USD $12.59 Buy It Now
THE COASTERS - YAKETY YAK - TRI LONDON 45 USD $10.61 Buy It Now
THE COASTERS YAKETY YAK/ZING WENT THE STRINGS OF MY HEART ATCO 6116 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4m 24s
The Coasters-Yakety Yak/Along Came Jones 45 Rpm Vinyl Record USD $7.99 Buy It Now 24m 37s
YAK - PURSUIT OF MOMENTARY HAPPINESS HAND SIGNED RECORD AUTOGRAPHED NEW USD $59.67 Buy It Now 1h 52m
Alas Salvation Yak - CD- Brand New & Sealed- Fast Ship! -OBV-096 USD $12.95 Buy It Now 2h 41m
YAK - QUEST FOR THE STONES JUNE 2015 VINTAGE RETRO INSTRUMENTAL UK PROG USD $13.59 Buy It Now 2h 43m
Ben E King - Stand By Me / Coasters - Yakety Yak 7"single w/PS USD $0.99 [0 bids]
4h 24m
The Leiber-Stoller Big Band - Yakety Yak (CD 2018) USD $2.65 [0 bids]
6h 58m
2 LIVE CREW PROMO 45 RPM 7" - Yakety Yak USD $1.99 Buy It Now 10h 27m
The Coasters The Golden Greats Yakety Yak 1999 Prism Leisure cd4906 USD $7.15 Buy It Now 11h 39m
RED CRAYOLA Wives In Orbit 7" VINYL UK Radar 1978 B/W Yik Yak (Ada22) White USD $6.62 Buy It Now 14h 52m
MARK MORRISON Who'S The Mack CD 4 Tracks, Orig 7 Inch Mix/Yak Bondy Mix/Brookly USD $4.50 Buy It Now 15h 35m
CHRIS HILL Yakety Yak 7" VINYL UK Philips 1976 B/W Ride On (6006508) USD $4.16 Buy It Now 16h 5m
COMETS ON FIRE / BURNING STAR CORESelf-Titled 12" VINYL Yik Yak 2005 USD $11.80 Buy It Now 16h 6m
COASTERS Yakety Yak CD Europe Warner 2005 20 Track (8122732252) USD $6.62 Buy It Now 16h 9m
ERIC WEISSBERG AND DELIVERANCE Yakety Yak 7" VINYL UK Epic 1975 B/W Meadow USD $4.16 Buy It Now 16h 9m
RED CRAYOLA Wives In Orbit 7" VINYL UK Radar 1978 Red Vinyl B/W Yik Yak (Ada22) USD $10.40 Buy It Now 16h 9m
COASTERS Yakety Yak 7" VINYL UK London 1958 Tri Centre Label Design B/W Zing USD $5.56 Buy It Now 16h 10m
2 LIVE CREW Yakety Yak 7" VINYL UK Epic 1989 B/W Megamixx 2 (6547987)Pic Sleeve USD $6.62 Buy It Now 16h 10m
YAK Alas Salvation CD Europe Octopus 2016 14 Track (Oe004Cd) USD $10.40 Buy It Now 16h 13m
ERIC WEISSBERG AND DELIVERANCE Yakety Yak 7" VINYL UK Epic 1975 Promo Featuring USD $2.77 Buy It Now 16h 14m
WHITLAMS Eternal Nightcap CD Black Yak 1997 13 Track (Byoa7) USD $6.62 Buy It Now 16h 26m
COASTERS Poison Ivy 7" VINYL UK Atlantic 3 Track B/W Yakety Yak USD $6.62 Buy It Now 16h 34m
ERIC WEISSBERG AND DELIVERANCE Yakety Yak 7" VINYL UK Epic 1975 Four Prong USD $5.56 Buy It Now 16h 34m
Leiber-Stoller Big Band - Yakety Yak 190296954993 (CD Used Very Good) USD $8.08 Buy It Now 16h 56m
Yakety Yak & Other Hits Coasters CD USD $30.72 Buy It Now 21h 10m
The Seats: Yak RARE 1993 INDIE-FOLK orig UK Cassette Single (cassingle) USD $9.27 Buy It Now 21h 47m
YAK LP Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness 2019 Black Vinyl Album New and SEALED USD $29.11 Buy It Now 22h 41m
LEIBER-STOLLER Big Band Yakety Yak LP Atlantic 8047 Stereo VG+ Phil Ramone USD $69.95 Buy It Now 22h 55m
The Leiber Stoller B-Yakety Yak CD NEW USD $16.04 Buy It Now 22h 57m
The Coasters - Yakety Yak 7" VG 456116 Vinyl 45 ATCO 1958 USD $6.00 Buy It Now 23h 40m
YAK - Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness - Vinyl (LP + poster + MP3 download code) USD $32.43 Buy It Now 1 day
Caglo Mac: Yakkety Yak 7" NM Rare Medical Records USD $5.29 Buy It Now 1 day
SUNDARA KARMA (8 Page Interview) DIY Magazine February 2019! Yak Maggie Rogers USD $3.97 Buy It Now 1 day
THE GAYLORDS YAKETY YAK/OH LONESOME ME MERCURY 71832 PROMO USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
John Drew/The Poor Crowns 45/PICTURE SLEEVE Splish Splash/Yakety Yak BELL USD $12.75 Buy It Now 1 day
Still Sealed 1960 Jazz Thad Jones Leiber Stoller Band Yakety Yak Record SD-8047 USD $75.00 Buy It Now 1 day
THE COASTERS 45 YAKETY YAK USD $3.97 [0 bids]
1 day
Hungry Heart/Something On Your Mind [Single] [2/24] by Yak (indie trio) (CD,... USD $13.26 Buy It Now 1 day
EL COCO " MONDO DISCO / YAKETY YAK / THE COUNT OF MONTE DISCO " 7" DISCO 1976 USD $4.75 Buy It Now 1 day
Y-Ton-G, Asmus Tietchens, Kouhei Matsunaga ?- YAK - FAST POST CD USD $7.94 Buy It Now 1 day
2 Live Crew 12" Single YAKETY YAK WTG Records PROMO 41-68168 Hip-Hop 1988 dj VG+ USD $14.95 Buy It Now 1 day
THE COASTERS Along Came Jones / Yakety Yak ATLANTIC 13006 45 VINYL 7" RECORD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
No [7" VINYL] Yak Vinyl USD $16.86 Buy It Now 1 day
Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness [Analog] Yak LP Record USD $27.65 Buy It Now 1 day
Dave Stewart & Spiritual Cowboys Jack Talking At Work And No Play 12" RCA YAK1 E USD $15.92 Buy It Now 1 day
*VG+ PAUL RICH YAKETY YAK/THE ONLY MAN 1958 7 INCH SINGLE 45 EMBASSY WB 293 USD $25.52 Buy It Now 1 day
EC Australian 45 rpm Record W&G pre-RCA 2-Hits: The MOONLIGHTERS Yakkity Yak / USD $17.38 Buy It Now 1 day
JERRY LEIBER/MIKE STOLLER/THE LEIBER-STOLLER BIG BAND - YAKETY YAK USED - VERY G USD $9.71 Buy It Now 2 days
NIK-L -NIP NANA B PUNK 7 INCH VINYL WITH ZINE VERY RARE YAK'UZ'A RARE PUNK SITE USD $8.29 [0 bids]
2 days
YAK PURSUIT OF MOMENTARY HAPPINESS ORIGINAL PROMOTIONAL POSTER NEW UNUSED USD $15.90 Buy It Now 2 days
ERIC WEISSBERG "YAKETY YAK / MONO" 45 RADIO PROMO EX USD $12.44 Buy It Now 2 days
YAK No 7" MISPRINT cover Nick Waplington Steve Mackey PULP Third Man Records RRS USD $10.00 [0 bids]
2 days
Hear! Rock & Roll 45 The Markeys - Hot Rod / Yakkity Yak On Rca USD $15.00 Buy It Now 2 days
THE COASTERS Yakety Yak 1958 TRI CENTRE LONDON VG+ USD $3.05 [2 bids]
2 days
Unknown Artist : Yakety Yak CD USD $15.17 Buy It Now 2 days
Alas Salvation Yak Audio CD USD $19.54 Buy It Now 2 days
Coasters Yakety Yak 7" London HLE 8665 VG 1958 tri-centre, Yakety Yak/Zing Went USD $15.92 Buy It Now 2 days
Yak - Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness - New CD Album - Released 08/02/2019 USD $14.56 Buy It Now 2 days
Yak - Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness CD ALBUM NEW (8TH FEB) USD $15.90 Buy It Now 2 days
Coasters The c. 1958 Yakety Yak Postcard USD $15.61 Buy It Now 2 days
Yakety Yak/ Zing! Went The Strings On My Heart by The Coasters 45 RPM USD $3.00 [0 bids]
2 days
YAK-300 ONLY 7" SINGLE-ALL I NEED IS SOME SUNSHINE IN MY LIFE-300 ONLY-M/UNPLAYD USD $25.19 Buy It Now 3 days
YAK ATTACK - SAFETY THIRD CD NEW+ USD $24.07 Buy It Now 3 days
2 LIVE CREW - YAKETY YAK (REMIXES) (12") 1988!!! RARE USD $10.99 Buy It Now 3 days
THE GOLDEN YEARS OF THE COASTERS, YAKETY YAK (1999 PRISM CD) BRAND NEW SEALED!!! USD $7.49 Buy It Now 3 days
The Coasters - Yakety Yak (2003) USD $1.31 [0 bids]
3 days
Yak. Alas Salvation. 13 Track CD. 2016. As Featured In Peaky Blinders. Brand New USD $9.27 [0 bids]
3 days
YAK BALLZ - MY CLAIM (VINYL EP) 2004!!! RARE!!! CAGE + BOBBY ATLAS!!! USD $44.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Alas Salvation - Yak CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping! USD $22.82 Buy It Now 3 days
SAM THE SHAM "YAKETY YAK / LET OUR LOVE LIGHT SHINE" 45 USD $3.00 Buy It Now 3 days
The Leiber and Stoller Big Band - Yakety Yak [CD] USD $16.09 Buy It Now 3 days
The Coasters "Yakety Yak"/ "Along Came Jones" 45 ATLANTIC Oldies Label in VG+ USD $3.50 Buy It Now 3 days
The Coasters - Yakety Yak -VG London HLE8665 1958 USD $1.31 [1 bids]
3 days
BEN E KING STAND BY ME c/w The coasters YAKETY YAK 1987 ATLANTIC PICTURE SLEEVE USD $9.01 Buy It Now 3 days
1969 EXC RARE Ray Stevens Along Came Jones / Yakety Yak Mn 45-1150 45 USD $3.08 Buy It Now 3 days
African 45 - Bustic Kingsley Bassey's Anansa Engineers - Yak Mi Ntiedo - Ben mp3 USD $6.00 [0 bids]
3 days
THE COASTERS " YAKETY YAK " Or. TRI CTRE UK LONDON EX COND. IN Or. SL. USD $9.14 Buy It Now 3 days
45 RPM - THE COASTERS - YAKETY YAK USD $6.99 Buy It Now 3 days
COASTERS-YAKETY YAK & OTHER HITS (RMST) CD NEW USD $15.05 Buy It Now 3 days
BEN E. KING - STAND BY ME b/w THE COASTERS - YAKETY YAK 12 inch 45rpm USD $7.94 [0 bids]
4 days
THE COASTERS - YAKETY YAK / ZING WENT THE STRINGS OF MY HEART 7" TRI-CENTRE USD $8.61 Buy It Now 4 days
BEN E.KING 7" SINGLE - STAND BY ME/YAKETY YAK (THE COASTERS) USD $0.86 [1 bids]
4 days
Y-Ton-G, Asmus Tietchens, Kouhei Matsunaga ?- YAK CD USD $13.25 Buy It Now 4 days
Yak - Alas Salvation NEW CD USD $14.38 Buy It Now 4 days
YAK:PURSUIT OF MOMENTARY HAPPINESS-YAK NEW VINYL RECORD USD $25.91 Buy It Now 4 days
The Coasters / Yakety Yak / Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart ?(7", Single) 45 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Yak - Alas Salvation NEW LP USD $23.16 Buy It Now 4 days
PROMO COPY THE GAYLORDS YAKETY YAK / OH LONESOME ME ON MERCURY 71832 USD $9.99 [0 bids]
4 days
Yak - Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $18.27 Buy It Now 4 days
HL-E 8665 The Coasters - Yakety Yak / Zing! When The Strings Of My Heart - 1958 USD $26.53 Buy It Now 4 days
Yak - Pursuit of Momentary Happiness - New Vinyl LP + MP3 - Pre Order - 8th Feb USD $33.14 Buy It Now 4 days
Yak - Pursuit of Momentary Happiness - New CD Album - Pre Order 8th February USD $17.23 Buy It Now 4 days
BEN E KING stand by me THE COASTERS Yakety yak ATLANTIC pic sleeve- freeUKpost USD $9.95 Buy It Now 4 days
PAUL SMITH: Yakety Yak-Piccadilly Paper Boy-U.K. 7" 65 Columbia EMI DB 7636 Demo USD $98.98 Buy It Now 4 days
COASTERS - YAKETY YAK 7" VINYL SINGLE OLD GOLD USD $5.29 Buy It Now 4 days
Ray Stevens - Yakety Yak / Along Came Jones - Monument Comedy 45 Record USD $4.99 Buy It Now 5 days

More places to buy YAK music online Buy YAK & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

YAK discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

YAK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 30 ratings
Dark Side Of The Duck
2004
2.50 | 7 ratings
The Rutland Chronicles
2006
3.85 | 49 ratings
Journey of the Yak
2008
3.91 | 97 ratings
Quest for the Stones
2015

YAK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 3 ratings
Does your Yak bite?
2005

YAK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

YAK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

YAK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

YAK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Quest for the Stones by YAK album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.91 | 97 ratings

BUY
Quest for the Stones
Yak Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Yak have been putting out a string of releases that have essentially consisted of them struggling to find their feet. The unexpected success of Dark SIde of the Duck - essentially a solo project by Martin Morgan putting some old Yak compositions on record for posterity's sake - saw a brief experiment in the old line-up getting back together which yielded a couple of inessential oddities (Does Your Yak Bite? and The Rutland Chronicles) before they went their separate ways again. Journey of the Yak was essentially a blueprint for Yak Mk. II, with new collaborators Gary Bennett and Dave Speight signing on and a new Yak lineup solidifying in the process of recording the pieces there.

With this album, everything seems to have finally come together for Yak, with a stable lineup allowing them to bring to fruition a newly matured sound in the form of two epic pieces (they'd be side-long numbers in the days of vinyl) which take Yak's all-instrumental Camel-inspired style to new heights. Perfectly matching the high fantasy concepts their titles suggest, the pieces feature excellent keyboard work from Morgan who really has space to stretch out his wings here - no doubt to the surprise of anyone who thought that yaks couldn't fly. All the hard work of previous albums has yielded fruit here, and the end result is magnificent.

 Quest for the Stones by YAK album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.91 | 97 ratings

BUY
Quest for the Stones
Yak Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Yak is back. I now, corny! After reading the recent reviews (both the 5 and 3 star ones) as well as reminiscing on the quality of their previous release, the eventful 2008 'Journey of the Yak', I went out to add this to my purchases, pretty confident in nailing another winner. Just to witness a 2 track album that runs 45 minutes was enough to get me enthused further. Yak remains the brainchild of composer and keyboard maestro Martin Morgan, ably supported by drummer Dave Speight and bassist Gary Bennett. Morgan is a virtuoso who can handle a wide variety of keys but what makes him somewhat original is his use of an electric guitar patch that gives his ivories a powerful tone. He also uses a flute patch to great effect. Comparisons to Genesis (in its instrumental packaging) as well as Camel is utterly founded and unashamedly so. Reliant on synthesizers, piano, organ and that guitar solo sound, Morgan really gives the production a full and meaty palette, well anchored by the more than able rhythm section.

The first epic, the 23 minute 'Quest for the Stones', opens on a soundtrack-ish tangent, very orchestral and sorrowful, then shuffles along majestically, cresting and diving then swooping around for another loop, keeping things intense and interesting throughout. There are no gratuitous exhibitions of technical prowess, instead relying on emotional impact and symphonic tolerance, evident on the elegant piano passages that litter the arrangement. Bennett's bass rolls alongside like a true partner in crime. Old school prog chock full of nostalgic winks and nods, bubbly synthesized passages that soar, scream and wallow on multiple levels, exuding a strong audacity and flowing change.

The second and final track is an outright classic as 'Veils of Aeternum' is probably closer to vintage Steve Hackett, very propulsive and bright, loaded with a ton of solos that sound like the Hacker, slippery and tone conscious. Some cool bass slapping from Bennett that comes from out of nowhere, always challenging and never boring. Flute frills and pastoral pools of reflection add to the mystery.

Not overtly long by any stretch (pun intended), the album has a fine flow and is perfect reflective instrumental prog. They reinvent nothing, nor do they claim to aspire to anything else , only improving a style that has had a lot of staying power over the decades. The cover art is quite humorous as one can clearly detect a mighty knight in flashy armor, sitting atop his trusted yak, whilst refreshing itself in a Sherwoodian brook. A solid follow-up and a worthy addition to any collection.

Short, compact review for a short and compact album.

4 Pursuit of Nuggets

 Quest for the Stones by YAK album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.91 | 97 ratings

BUY
Quest for the Stones
Yak Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars YAK are a British band that have been around since the early eighties but because of "life" this project was put aside until they released their first album in 2004. These guys have a sense of humour as witnessed in the title of that first album "Dark Side Of The Duck" and a later record "Does Your Yak Bite?". I agree with the majority that the all instrumental music here has a CAMEL/ GENESIS vibe as in "Snowgoose" and "Wind And Wuthering" but no not nearly as complex or enjoyable and i'm not big on either of those classic albums which is maybe in part why I can't get into this one. It just lacks anything thing that tugs at my emotions. I did think of Mike Oldfield but maybe only because this has two side long suites and it's all instrumental. There's certainly not the array of instruments that Oldfield employed as this is a three piece with drums, bass and keyboards.

Like Drew i'm a little confused that they don't have guitar listed as part of the instruments used here as i'm sure I hear plenty of that in the title track. Maybe it's a guitar-like sound that they get through the keyboards? Anyway i'm not a fan of it whatever it is. I much prefer the second suite called "Vale Of Aeternum". It opens with the birds chirping and mellotron-like sounds. Those guitar-like sounds arrive around 2 1/2 minutes in. The bass stands out a little more a minute later. We get a calm with mellotron-like sounds as these two themes are repeated later on as well.

Obviously there are many fans of this Symphonic album but the keyboard sounds just don't do a lot for me, still I can appreciate what they've done here so 3 stars it is.

 Quest for the Stones by YAK album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.91 | 97 ratings

BUY
Quest for the Stones
Yak Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Seeing Ivan Melgar (for whom I have immense respect)'s five star review for this album intrigued my enough to prompt me to seek it out. Now I have gotten to know the album a little bit, so I feel ready to voice my opinion. Yak seems to have captured some of the essence of late 1970s GENESIS and CAMEL--melody and sound, not necessarily musical complexity. As a matter of fact, some of the foundational music sounds so rudimentary as if it was constructed purely to serve as a vehicle upon which melody and guitar and keyboard soli can shine (which they do fairly well). This is, for me, a treacherous slope, as I want my progressive rock music to to feel as if all instrumentalists are equal contributors to both composition and exposition. Even iconic instrumental virtuosi like John McLaughlin, Jean-Luc Ponty or Al Di Meola surround themselves with near equals and compose for the exposure and exploitation of the full talents of their sidemen. (Usually.) Perhaps I am wrong to try to put Martin MORGAN on that level (Is he ONLY a keyboardist as listed above? If so, how does he make all those keyboards sound like guitars?), but I find myself bored and disappointed in the simplicity of the four-chord foundations to each of the suites' multiple sections (which often drag on a bit too long, IMHO) as well as the simplicity of the work load demanded of his rhythm section. Martin has managed to create some wonderful, engaging melodies over these simple foundations, but, it's kind of like listening to TONY BANKS or GENESIS with all of the lyrics removed or the watered down version of CAMEL after Doug FERGUSON and Pete BARDENS had left. In my opinion, this band (or its leader) has some growing to do before it produces masterpieces of the quality and caliber of the other five star albums in PA's Top 100. This is a very good album, a very pleasant listen that takes one on a nice fantasy ride (or two), but no more. 3.5 stars, rated down for lack of anything truly new or innovative.
 Quest for the Stones by YAK album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.91 | 97 ratings

BUY
Quest for the Stones
Yak Neo-Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

5 stars "This Yak has reached maturity"

I've been following YAK since 2004 when they released the surprising Dark Side of the Duck, an album I left in the shelve for several months because of the horrendous name (Who could imagine that an album with such a title would be so good?) and I was impressed. Years later Martin Morgan contacted me for the release of The Journey of the Yak, which was even better, but even though they were close, the status of masterpiece kept avoiding their records.

Yesterday received a copy of Quest for the Stones and my first thought was:

"A Symphonic album with only two epics in 2015? This guys must be crazy"

But now I say pleased: "This is the kind of madness I love".

Since then I have heard it 10 times because it's like a refreshing trip to the 70's when Prog was king and musicians weren't afraid of being called pompous and self-indulgent by mediocre critics, so before boring the readers, let's go to the music

The album has only two instrumental tracks and is opened by the 24 minutes epic Quest for the Stones, a musical piece that has everything that a Prog fan like me loves, long and fluid keyboard solos with radical changes and a "Marvelous real" atmosphere in the vein of Borges or Garcí­a Marquez stories that captured me from the start. They are not afraid to play long Mellotron sections that recreate the spirit of the Symphonic golden era without any shame...And I love them for taking that risk.

The second epic Veil of Aeternum (19:25) maintains the atmosphere and the style, but has clear influence from GENESIS (Wind & Wuthering era) but with a different approach that prevents people of calling them clones. The music again is mysterious and carries some sort of magic in a story told out without words, which I won't try to describe to avoid the risk of ruining the musical experience of others?.Will only say that loved it from the first to the last note.

It's my opinion that Quest for the Stones is the best album that the band has ever released and the first one that I will rate with 5 solid stars, so..... If you're a fan of 70's Symphonic Prog with a modern edge, buy this album, you won't regret, and remember, it's for a good cause, because the money you pay goes for "Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary".

 Quest for the Stones by YAK album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.91 | 97 ratings

BUY
Quest for the Stones
Yak Neo-Prog

Review by robbob

5 stars Well . What a great surprise. A very important evolution since their last work.

This album seems to be the middle work of Genesis between Wind and Wuthering and Then There Were Three...(without vocals) They should have contacted Phil Collins(sadly his voice is weal now) and put vocals to this one.

A very inspirited album .Specially the first song... So if this would been a Genesis album (W& W Collins era) surely a masterpiece ... It is still one but is so inspired in that Genesis works that is not so original.

So fantastic ,pleasant symphonic prog rock . 4.5 stars for me ....so one half more in stars score.

 Journey of the Yak by YAK album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.85 | 49 ratings

BUY
Journey of the Yak
Yak Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Back to Budapest, Hungary on my annual return to visit my dad and of course, a little expedition to Periferic Records (yes there is such a thing as a prog store!). While hungrily (sorry for the pun!) flipping through the shelves, the salesperson put on this rather exclusive album which caught my attention and invariably convinced me of its merits, I added it to my voluminous shop cart. At first afraid by the "new age"?ish cover , I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty inside, an instrumental work of superlative proportions , similar in style to early Steve Hackett and recent the Lens (IQ's Mike Holmes) , two dudes that I dearly admire, so it was a rather easy purchase. The guitar parts are allegedly played on synths, as the keyboard parts are done by Martin Morgan (hence referred to as the ivory guitarist). What makes this album somewhat singular is the quality of the melodies, profound and rich as well as completely memorable, as if you had heard it all your life. Seduced by eschewing any kind of tendency towards wallpaper music, the music flows like rivulets of bliss, misty and atmospheric, held together by solid bass and drum interface.

"Gates of Moria" is the launch pad for the Yak's travels, a sonic luminescence of glorious proportions, long sustained notes flexing the arrangement into a symphonic overture of the loftiest order, followed by three 10 minute + epics to get things lathered up, so to speak. The music gets a little more serious and dense on the epic (and barely disguising the evident Genesis tribute) "Entangles in Dreams" where a sophisticated and chiming acoustic guitar intro that could have graced "Wind and Wuthering" collides with a massive instrumental chorus that has recognizance all over its stunning notes, soaringly orchestrated to evoke maximum emotion, armed with a full-fledged Tony Banks-ian organ salvo that is properly devastating. The "crying guitar" effect is masterfully utilized, all within a whirlpool of classic Genesisms, including ornate piano work, as well as that jangly acoustic guitar arpeggio that Ant Phillips brought to the mix. The bass suddenly gets quite robust, blasting a new progressive path forward , setting up for a long and celestial solo from Morgan on his ivory axe , howling mellotron patches in the skylight. "Jadis of Charn" proves that re-hashing old influences is not the only motivator, a clearly original epic that relies on a slightly more complex blending of sounds and instruments, still well within the symphonic formula, evoking Steve Hackett's universe but with some added quirks, bubbly neo-electronica synths to mention only one. The mid-section gets a little animated with colliding solos, soul searching synthesizer leads, rumbling organ fills and maddening "guitar" solos. Then a slower moody part kicks in , drenched in melancholia, garnished by a gorgeous lead line that basks in the deepest neo-classicism.

Third up is the "March of the Huorns" , an imperceptible ambient intro stretches into a organ-pumped ramble, a repetitive 4 note echoing guitar riff to provide depth, all knotted with some swerves and detours , a reptilian Gary Bennett bass taking the melody further along with drummer Dave Speight bashing away gloriously. The reoccurrence of the 4 gun salute only keeps things rolling tightly, launching another series of solos within the same orchestral framework.

"Dearly Departed" is a complete departure from the preceding style, a resonant, sorrowful lullaby that is achingly beautiful, the elegant piano at the very forefront. A flute synth repeats the theme in a more emphatic sheen, a joyous revelation of splendor, partnered by some huge orchestrations. A fragile piece of genius.

The title track takes the cake though, as it best exemplifies the qualities of musicianship and melody in perfect harmony, as close to classic Hackett pieces as "Shadow of the Hierophant" or "Spectral Mornings", leading Steve to probably wonder: "a keyboard can do me like that?" . Hurtling leads screeching towards the highest peaks, brooding cross rhythms (the churning organ again) and marshaling bass and drums. All the lush ingredients that make this album such a treat are here on display. The piano finale is preposterous in its infinite beauty, a sterling slice of progressive history.

This is lovely stuff that stalwart Genesis fans should lap up in pure enjoyment. If you are looking for originality then stay far away from this Yak. I for one an glad that I walked in at the right time to hear this. Timing IS everything?.

4.5 tibetan bells

 Journey of the Yak by YAK album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.85 | 49 ratings

BUY
Journey of the Yak
Yak Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The old Yak lineup got together for some jam sessions which were eventually released on two rather inessential releases - The Rutland Chronicles and Does Your Yak Bite? - and then the band disintegrated again, once more leaving Martin Morgan to fly the flag for the project. Taking inspiration from the best results of those jam sessions, Morgan crafted an all-new set of compositions for this true followup to The Dark Side of the Duck - and what a followup it is! With some musical pals rounding out the lineup to give it a real band feel, it's another piece of tasty neo-prog instrumentals reminiscent of Camel, early Steve Hackett solo material, and The Lens. If you liked the Duck, you'll like the Journey too.
 Dark Side Of The Duck by YAK album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.96 | 30 ratings

BUY
Dark Side Of The Duck
Yak Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Yak were a particularly obscure band from the first wave of neo-prog who broke up in 1984 leaving only a few scratchy demo tapes to their name. Cornerstone of the band Martin Morgan was keen to make sure the band's compositions survived in a much more audibly palatable form, so on this debut release from the Yak - 19 years after the breakup! - he set about reconstructing the best of the demo compositions himself.

This multi-instrumentalist task he succeeds at admirably - in particular, I'm impressed with the way he's able to make the drum machine feel like a real drummer - and the end result shows Yak to have been a very interesting band in their time. As the band name implies, there's a big influence from classic-era Camel at work, which takes their instrumental Genesis/Steve Hackettisms a la The Lens in a new and interesting direction. One for all lovers of first wave neo-prog.

 Journey of the Yak by YAK album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.85 | 49 ratings

BUY
Journey of the Yak
Yak Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3,5 stars really. Contrary to most of my fellow reviewers, I did not find this album to be that great. To me Journey of the Yak is a promising work that suggests better things in the future. Sure, this CD is very good and the group has all the right influences for my taste. There is definitive Camel feeling on it (specially around the time of The Snowgoose, an obvious source of inspiration). The early Genesis connection is quite visible too, since there is a lot of Banks-like synths. Nothing very flashy or too bombastic, but quite melodic and dreamy. However, it is still far from perfect.

One of the main reasons may lay in the fact that Yak is a trio: just keyboards, bass and drums. No guitars, neither vocals. It´s a huge challenge to have a whole CD without any other instrumentation than those mentioned nor the vocals to hold your atention. And they did it, which is proof of their talent and skill. Yet, the feeling of something´s missing haunts me and as much as Martin Morgan does a terrific job on the keyboards, it is clear that the Yak´s music asks for something extra (like a guitarrist in the same vein of Andrew Latimer, for exemple. It would be fantastic to hear some guitar /keyboards duels). The songs are all good, I always hear the CD from start to finish without skipping a single track. Production is quite adequate for this kind of music.

Conclusion: a very good instrumental symphonic record. Specially if you´re a keyboard freak. The lack of some extra instrumentation is a hindrance to them in my humble opinion. With another member to add more variety and with a little development from the songwriting department they can easily go from very good to excellent or even brilliant. The potential is all there. I´m looking forward to hear their next works.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Windhawk for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives