Ya Ho Wa 13 CD/LP reviewed by C.R.N. Psychgeek

Music Reviews
Ya Ho Wa 13 CD/LP reviewed by C.R.N. Psychgeek
Nov 11, 2009, 06:33

YaHoWha 13 - Magnificence In the Memory

YA HO WA 13 Magnificence of the Memory CD/LP        Â

Out of the ashes of the groping communal hippydom and the trivialities of acid casualty fallout, arisen from the Sunset Strip hippy scene is the omnipresence of the master of the Source Family, Father Yod and the Ya Ho Wa 13, the "Father," seer, teacher, yogi, and sage. From the era in which it was born, every bit an important ethnography as any National Geographic documentary ever was, an astounding archive of Ya Ho Wa 13's lost recordings has been excavated. The very promising delivery of the anthropological emic/etic perspective of free love psychedelic culture and music will have Ya Ho Wa 13 fans teething for more. Some 70 albums worth of material unearths the freeform psych rock improvisations of Ya Ho Wa 13 and will further illustrate the true "dropping out" of Vietnam War era society. Whether it took place on the streets via the rejection of the "state" politic, or by the deconstructionist chatter floating about in post-beat social theorist circles and universities. One such pocket scene was in L.A., and one such niche was the Source Family.

The silent revolt, an extraction from participation in 'these things that tear a man apart' was to become the real "psych," and not just a pack of smelly hippies playing bongos in the dirt.  To know this difference, to organize this 'difference' and achieve a collective Aquarian critical mass, which to this day as a movement, has seemingly fallen flat on its face. As flower power was to be swallowed up and spat out by the mechanics of conservatism's capitalist degradations. That particular generation's uncanny willingness to abide in a contemporary sense, will never settle well in these times. The anti-war icons of yesterday, have become the pro-war cabalists of today; Senator Kerry?

Anyway, how soon we forget the honest and prolific these social paradigms as the demonization of "free thought" movements, such as the Source Family, were to become the perceived enemy of the state. Much like the Black Panther's School Lunch Program, commune culture was targeted by the Hooverists and further implicated by the self-induced patsy hysteria of Nixon's toy, Charles Manson. The label of "cult" followed and lead to the other label, "militant group," while playing up to the realities of other psycho-pathetic oddities such as Jonestown and later on, Waco.     Â

The conceptual practices of communal living were further denigrated as the rise of the death of psych was instigated by the wrong end of the 1970s and all the bullshit of the "I'm OK, You're OK" generation. In 1975, Father Yod passed away after a hang gliding accident at this very juncture and at the very crest of psych.

Magnificence of the Memory holds some elegant lo-fi psychedelicized crooning, philosophical offerings, and snake charmer whistling meanderings of Father Yod. As the musicianship begins to develop more band-like qualities, the ultra psych track freak-out award goes to, Nam Yo Ho Renge Kyo, this timeless piece of the album offers premonitions of other communes, like that of those surfers from Texas. Acidic ramblings and psychedelic guitar reverberate via twang-induced improvisations at the very foundation of the Ya Ho Wa 13, not in any structural sense, but free form tribal jam chant. To 'let it flow' was the objective and all the relevance of the notion spiritually becomes translated upon this vehicle. Mystical droning from the track It Doesn't Matter What You Do, delves into the darkest caves of any of the beast that Satanic Majesties Request held in store for us. These tracks were recorded in 1973-74 and mark a testimonial of what may also be revealed for the following releases from this collection of the Lost Music of Ya Ho Wa 13. Previous 70s official releases from the private Akashic record label reach into the pockets of psych collectors worldwide and fetch $500 plus for originals. This is the real deal kiddies, whether or not they ever achieved the virtuoso flash and presence of Deep Purple in 1973 is taken for granted, rather this band had flash in the Hollywood, "we are West Coast," Californian sense, and knew how to use it. Ergo, it lives and breathes cult=culture status. Enjoy, I do.

"I'm the sunshine man and I'm looking for sunshine"... [Drag City]

-CRN Psychgeek


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