Exposé Online banner

Laktating Yak — Origin of the Yak
(Bandcamp no#, 2018, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-06-07

Origin of the Yak Cover art

In the foothills of the Himalayas, on the Chinese side, tea with yak milk is a regional beverage, so when I was there, I gave it a try. I didn’t find it much to my liking, though I have tasted cheese made from yak milk that was pretty tasty. All of which has virtually nothing to do with the band Laktating Yak, a six-member group which may be based in Houston, Texas, but sounds like they come from another plane of existence. Theirs is a universe in which yak milk is a magical substance capable of restoring spiritual vitality as well as curing erectile dysfunction, and music has no borders that make any sense. A rumbling didgeridoo rubs shoulders of a skittering violin (or maybe the didge is rubbing the shoulders of the violin), heavy, stuttering guitar riffs compete with squawking saxophone, and serene minimalist patterns provide respite, though not without a sense of impending doom. They count Magma and RIO bands among their influences, along with Frank Zappa, but a more relevant sonic reference might be Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Not that any of these artists sums up the sound of this very eclectic band. With two sax players in the band (Danny Kamins and Edgar Quintana) and a violinist (Charles Anderson), the rhythm section of Angel Garcia (drums), Tobin Armstrong (bass), and Charlie Bryan (guitar) have a lot of support, but their arrangements leave lots of room for all levels of complexity from ambient soundscapes to driving rock. On first listen, Origin of the Yak may not make sense, but repeated listening has convinced me it’s one of the best debut albums of 2018. Originality may not be the only thing that’s important in music, but it’s rare enough that it should be treasured when it’s found, and Laktating Yak has it in abundance. So my advice is to skip the actual yak milk and check out the music, and give it time to soak in.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Laktating Yak

More info
http://laktatingyak.bandcamp.com/releases

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Blue Series Continuum - The Sorcerer Sessions: Featuring the Music of Matthew Shipp – Collisions between jazz and semi-classical music structure is the format for this new collective set of twelve pieces. Each new project is based on lessons learned and best-known methods applied to an...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues