Penetration: An Aquarian Symphony LP

$30.00 (AUD)

Out of Stock

Probably the most well-known album by Father Yod and his musical family Ya Ho Wa 13, 1974's Penetration: An Aquarian Symphony is about as accessible as this legendary cult (literally) band ever got, largely because Father Yod (a heavyset, bearded ex-Marine born James Edward Baker) engages in comparatively little of his trademark quasi-Native American chanting and atonal Yoko Ono-style vocalizations, preferring instead to concentrate on kettle drum and gong. (Father Yod does drive the first half of the closing "Ya Ho Wa 13" with a lengthy and unexpectedly melodic whistling solo at times weirdly evocative of Martin Denny's old exotica albums, or perhaps Ennio Morricone's spaghetti western themes.) The core trio of musicians, guitarist Djin Aquarian, bassist Sunflower Aquarian, and drummer Octavious Aquarian, are fully in control of this album as opposed to the free-form anarchy of some Father Yod-related releases, and so the four tracks are, while entirely improvised and recorded live without overdubs in the band tradition, more structured and coherent than usual. Shades of Meddle-era Pink Floyd, free-form prog rockers Gong, and several of the contemporaneous Krautrock bands ripple through these space rock instrumentals, which have a hard, doomy edge even at their most pastoral. (At first, it looks like the title phrase is spelled out of the album cover in bamboo, like one might find at a strip mall Chinese restaurant; closer inspection reveals that it's actually spelled in bullets, which gives the album title a more violent edge than the sexual connotations originally implied.) Guitarist Djin in particular drives this album, veering from loud, almost metallic crunch to pealing psychedelic shimmer and back throughout the 40-minute playback. Newcomers to the world of Ya Ho Wa 13 are strongly encouraged to start here; in fact, all but the most die-hard psych-noise fans might want to end here as well. ~ Stewart Mason