Posted in music | tour dates on March 5, 2012

by Andrew Sacher

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

Canadian duo Yamantaka // Sonic Titan (aka Alaska B and Ruby Kato Attwood) wrapped up 2011 with a self titled album that's been picking up more and more speed into the new year. The band combines progressive rock, psychedelia, sludge metal, noise, and a handful other genres, coming out with an undeniably eclectic sound. Both members are of Asian ethnicity and are practicing Buddhists, which they openly express as having influenced their sound. Redefine Mag are fans, but are a bit cynical about it saying, there is a degree of intense Asian fetishism present in YT//ST's schtick that translates to their image in an arguably trite way." Meanwhile, Now writes that "Yamantaka//Sonic Titan purposely position themselves at the nebulous centre of multiple dialogues about identity politics, culture, genre, discipline and even what it means to be a band," and Pitchfork calls them "stoner-rock imaginings of Chinese opera." The Grid says that the band explores "Asian, Indigenous and diasporic identities, riffing on and sending up stereotypes while crafting their own unique and utterly compelling ways of telling stories."

The band's desire to fusion Eastern and Western cultures does bring to mind Japanese bands Boris and Boredoms, and if either of those bands had Lizzi Bougatsos of Gang Gang Dance singing, it probably wouldn't sound too far off from YT//ST. Their Pitchfork interview also mentions that their band name references a Buddhist deity and a Sleep song, and that their self-penned genre, "Noh-wave" is a reference to the Japanese musical drama form Noh, and obviously, No Wave.

Referencing that many things from across the globe, history, and a wide musical palette and putting it all into one cohesive album (which clocks in just over 30 minutes with 7 songs) sounds great on paper. But if you're wondering if Yamantaka // Sonic Titan can actually accomplish it, stream the entire album at their bandcamp. It's as weird as it is catchy, as heavy as it is soft, and as modern as it is nostalgic. Also check out the video for album track "Hoshi Neko" below.

Their live shows, which include tons of theatrics like face paint, masks, costumes, and visuals, feature other members in addition to Ruby Kato Attwood and Alaska B. Their facebook credits Ange Loft, John Ancheta, Brendan Swanson, Alana Ruth, and Walter Scott. Note that three of the members include "art" as one of their "instruments" and that they also have members to handle lighting, stage, and costume.

You can catch them at one of their upcoming dates which include the Jeff Mangum-curated ATP Minehead UK in March and a run of US dates with Xiu XIu on their upcoming tour. Yamantaka // Sonic Titan don't play at Xiu Xiu's Bowery Ballroom show (5/4) (Dirty Beaches does) but they'll play their own NYC show just after the tour ends. That show happens at Mercury Lounge on June 13. Tickets go on sale Friday (3/9) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (3/7) at noon.

All dates and video below...

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Yamantaka // Sonic Titan -- 2012 Tour Dates
03/09 Minehead, UK ATP
05/27 Seattle, WA Neumos ^
05/28 Vancouver, British Columbia Biltmore Cabaret ^
05/29 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge ^
05/31 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill ^
06/01 Los Angeles, CA Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock ^
06/02 San Diego, CA Soda Bar ^
06/05 Marfa, TX Padre's ^
06/06 Austin, TX The Mohawk ^
06/07 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks ^
06/08 Birmingham, AL Bottletree ^
06/09 Atlanta, GA The Earl ^
06/13 New York, NY Mercury Lounge

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Comments (25)

YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN are a psychedelic noh-wave opera group fusing noise, metal, pop and folk music into a multidisciplinary hyper-orientalist cesspool of 'east' meets 'west' culture clash in giant monochrome paper sets.

TRANSLATION=they don't know how to play musical instruments

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2012 6:03 PM

Wish there were Japanese bands that made something in the middle of the pop spectrum between Shonen Knife and Boredoms. Doesn't seem to be the case though.

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2012 6:33 PM

We are truly in the era of gimmick rock.

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2012 7:04 PM

cock rock

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2012 7:15 PM

was there ever a gimmick free era for rock? this album sounds good...like a more palatable Ghost (Japan)

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2012 7:21 PM

i's like chubby asian chicks in bikinis

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2012 8:09 PM

fuck you guys, buncha fat assholes talkin smack about chicks cooler than you are

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2012 9:30 PM

The video is really cool, the song sounds A LOT like misery is a butterfly era blonde redhead, to the point of redundancy.

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2012 9:51 PM

where's the sludge here?

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2012 10:01 PM

I wonder if this'll get any racist comments

NAAAAAAH

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2012 10:09 PM

I'm 9:30 and I'm a skinny white ho. suck on your own balls, taint sludge.

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2012 10:54 PM

Was hoping this would be about Yamantaka Eye. It's not. Pass.

Posted by Anonymous | March 6, 2012 12:03 AM

rush limpballs said he was sorry 4 x's

Posted by Anonymous | March 6, 2012 12:23 AM

progressive rock

Posted by LouisC | March 6, 2012 1:58 AM

Has anyone here ever experimented with hummus in a sushi roll?

Posted by Anonymous | March 6, 2012 2:13 AM

Hi,

just started a new music prject. You can download all the album for free. Give it a chance!

http://www.indiegogo.com/Saturday-8-am-Album?a=466768

Posted by Marco | March 6, 2012 5:28 AM

Jeff Magnum didn't pick them. ATP did.

Posted by Anonymous | March 6, 2012 5:34 AM

This band is awesome. You all seem so hopeless. Great stuff. Rock is one big gimmick in case you haven't figured that out.

Posted by Anonymous | March 6, 2012 7:14 AM

9:30/10:54 could really use some man meat.

Posted by Anonymous | March 6, 2012 11:32 AM

WHO?

Posted by Anonymous | March 6, 2012 3:29 PM

It's so fucking cool to be racist. Look at me, I'm post everything! I am now free to be an anonymous bigot on the internet!

Posted by Anonymous | March 6, 2012 3:39 PM

I think they are hot

Posted by Burg | March 6, 2012 3:51 PM

I would fill up at their troughs, but in 30 minutes I would want more!

Posted by Anonymous | March 6, 2012 6:04 PM

Jeff Magnum didn't pick them. ATP did.

Posted by souq | March 14, 2012 3:42 PM

this makes me want to go swimming

Posted by jordon | August 4, 2013 9:45 PM

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