Dark as thunder in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, ethereal as a golden sunrise, hypnotizing beats - Lucerne psychedelic rock trio Yet No Yokai paint a variety of pictures and take listeners on a wild Krautrock odyssey, but not without going their own way and duly testing the boundaries of the genre. Alternating between German and English lyrics, the formula remains the same: experimental, psychedelic. As figures of Japanese folk belief, "Yokai" are most comparable to monsters or demons. Yet No Yokai have been around for almost 15 years, yet they've only been conquering stages with that name for a few years now. They decided in 2018 that a change of style was needed and with that came the new band name.
Thanks to this change of direction they won the Demotape Clinic prize at m4music, played at the Montreux Jazz Festival and finally signed a contract with the Swiss alternative label Hummus Records (home of Emilie Zoé, Louis Jucker etc.), as the first German-speaking band ever and without having released an album, yet. But after five years the time has come, and the album "Wir Sind Da" will be released on 26 May 2023.
About the album:
The trio consisting of Thomas Seidmann (vocals/guitar), Samuel Birrer (drums/backing vocals) and Simon Pfister (bass guitar) compare the production of the album to building Lego; there were various bricks in the form of riffs, loops and drum breaks that they put together with their producer Timo Keller:
"We had accumulated about 30 recordings of riffs, loops and drum breaks from YNY jam sessions. Together with Timo Keller, we selected the best ideas and elements and assembled them into longer structures like Lego bricks. After hours of rumbling with overdubs of bass, guitar and synthesizer, the instrumentals were created. From the beginning, it was important to us to include extended and danceable parts. Timo had the idea to add a Tanzbär (analogue drum machine), which eventually contributed a lot to the goal and formed a common thread."
The lyrics were written by Thomas, Samuel and Simon together, based on melodies that came up during the production of the instrumentals. Besides the phonetics, words and stories that paint psychedelic pictures were important to them. They also wanted to keep bilingualism. As individual as this sounds, so is the band. The first track, "Nebelmeer" (Sea of Fog), seems like an electro track when you first hear it, before the distorted guitars kick in after 45 seconds and Thomas' German-language vocals join in. The result is a dark and driven feeling, which perhaps makes the song catchy. The second track "Black Meadow" was written primarily for the big stage, with its Queens of The Stone Age vibes it could definitely become a festival banger, which was chosen as one of the pre-release singles for a reason.
"Asphalt Astronaut" is reminiscent of typical psychedelic rock songs, but it would not be Yet No Yokai, if as soon as Thomas' voice is added, the whole vibe did not change and result in a kind of cat and mouse game between the vocal parts and the instrumental. "Calling For Love" immediately transports listeners to the desert. You can literally see the camels passing by in your mind's eye. And so the mood runs through the entire album. One is always curious which new tricks, or - to keep the Lego image - which building blocks Yet No Yokai have come up with to let their sound become the unique Yet No Yokai sound house. Because as much as one would like to put them in a genre, they don't quite make it that easy in the end. This makes "Wir Sind Da" (We are here) a well-chosen title in any case, because in the end you can only sign the statement and be curious where the further journey will lead.
For the cover artwork/graphic design Yet No Yokai collaborated with artist duo Johnson/Kingston.
Yet No Yokai are Samuel Birrer, Simon Pfister, Thomas Seidmann
Samuel Birrer: Drums
Simon Pfister: Bass Guitar
Thomas Seidmann: Guitars & Vocals
Timo Keller: Synthesizer
Luca Staffelbach: Percussion
Release via HUMMUS RECORDS
Tag: krautrock, psychedelic, psychedelic rock, garage rock, psych rock