Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
428 S Hewitt Street
Los Angeles, CA, 90013
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
"There’s a whole world contained within Yamantaka // Sonic Titan. They’re a
Noh-Wave prog collective, a black-and-white (and sometimes red) theatre company,
an operatic psych cult, and the speculative prophets of humanity’s impending doom.
Above it all, though, they’re a thunderous rock band, and on their third album, DIRT,
they’re the heaviest they’ve ever been.
Though they’ve been an amorphous beast since they formed in 2010, DIRT follows
the group’s most significant evolution in years. Now totally Toronto-based, they’ve
added new singer Joanna Delos Reyes, guitarist Hiroki Tanaka and bassist
Brandon Lim, who, along with the towering drums of leader/artist Alaska B,
singer/theatre artist Ange Loft and keyboardist Brendan Swanson, turn the group
into a driving engine of sound. Live, the band can be sprawling and theatrical or
concise and visceral, filling the stage with noise, melody and cacophony.
DIRT is the band’s first album since 2013’s UZU, their second straight to be
shortlisted for the Polaris Prize as one of the best Canadian albums of the year. But
the gap between albums hasn’t been a hiatus. Instead, the group hunkered down in
the studio composing the mostly-instrumental score to the DrinkBox Studios video
game Severed, along with members of the Canadian-Filipina gong group Pantayo.
They emerged with new elements to heighten and distort into their already far-
reaching sound, which combines and tornadoes Asian diasporic and Indigenous
influences and perspectives.
The album was conceived as the soundtrack for an unreleased Haudenosaunee and
Buddhist themed Anime produced in 1987. Like UZU, it takes place on the planet
Pureland, now 10,000 years after the planet has flooded. The surviving people live
within bubble domes floating in orbit. A team of mercenaries descends into the
drowned wreckage of the world to receive the last sample of uncorrupted soil.
Never abandoning their irreverent edge, the band pushes further into madness and
finds clarity in it, combining Kanien'kehá:ka creation story and Buddhist principles
with classic sci-fi themes to show how humanity continues to succumb to its worst
impulses: madness, hubris and greed. With a sarcastic sigh that crosses political
spectrums, DIRT confronts the lies that we tell ourselves and each other and asks
Jerkagram is a fraternal twin duo which unfurls a chaotic psychedelic whirlwind at one time and a minimalist ambient wash at another. Their creative repetitions, layered guitar textures, and unhinged drum patterns allow for an organic, hypnotic, and epic experience, and their influences range from free jazz to heavy punk to kraut/psych rock to noise to pop. Live, they have boundless energy and force and their songs are always morphing so that no two live shows are ever the same.