March 5th, 2012
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan are a duo consisting of Alaska B and Ruby Kato Attwood and they hail from Montreal. Ms. B is apparently Chinese-Irish-Canadian while Ms. Attwood is Japanese-Scottish-Canadian. They call their music Noh-Wave in reference to Noh, a traditional form of Japanese musical theatre.
While there are no doubt lots of musical influences at play here, my ears hear a heavy, raw form of progressive rock. There’s plenty of Hammond organ on “Reverse Crystal” while “A Star Over Pureland” could pass as a Tarkus outtake with its synthesizer. I hear a bit of shoe-gaze in “Murder of a Spider” while “Hoshi Neko” is more straight-ahead pop. Walls of sludgy noise are contrasted against Alaska and Ruby’s ethereal voices which may or may not be singing actual words. Listen to the last half of “A Star Over Pureland” and you’ll hear what I mean. These ladies have some great pipes.
This was recorded on 28 January of this year at The Garrison in Toronto, ON. I rather like this recording as you can hear the bass whereas the studio clips I’ve heard on YouTube sound really tinny.
Oak of Guernica
Murder of a Spider
A Star Over Pureland
Crystal Fortress Over the Sea of Trees
Here’s the band doing “Reverse Crystal” on 3 February 2012 in Ottawa. As you can see, they have costumes and greasepaint in the grand prog tradition.