Ya Ho Wa 13 formed out of “The Source Family” a spiritual commune with over 100 robe wearing members founded in the late 1960’s by Father Yod. He believed his group was “the great western mystery school.” They built a recording studio and gathered the gear needed to start Ya Ho Wa 13.
Communal living, free love, yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and play took place in a huge mansion in the hills of L.A. It was complete with a Rolls Royce and one of the first Health Food Restaurants in the USA. There has been much historical research into the Source Family, books and DVDs about their lives are highly recommended (see below).
Ya Ho Wa 13 was one of the most far-out bands on Earth. They and took sex, drugs and rock and roll to a whole new place. This is not music where you ponder technical capability but music for “spacing out”, drifting through your imagination, riding it like a wave.
The intention of the music was to live more deeply in the moment. Nothing rehearsed or planned, complete improvisation. It was a spiritual prayer, a sonic contemplation. Instead of sounding spiritual it sounds far-out and highly psychedelic. The music contains guitar solos, weird FXs, unhinged vocals and a dense cloud of cultism. The music slowly and organically builds moving from subtle sections of near silence to strange otherworldly machinery melting within the sound of a pulsing shaman’s drum. The guitars become hot and spacey backed by a steady rhythm and an ever intensifying gong. Father Yod comes in with an unmistakable voice which shaped rock history chanting, channeling, yelling incoherently, evoking the ancient energy of the earth and sky, drawing energy from the moment. It is always fascinating to hear the words of a man who likens himself to God, especially in the context of experimental rock music making it much closer to outsider art.
Article by: Temple Rose