The latest in a series of issues of the recorded work of Father Yod and his troupe. Yod was a hippie cult leader and a pretty scary individual but his records were nteresting - darkly psychedelic ramblings with stream of consciousness freeform word play. This one (actually made in 1973) concern the comic of the comet 'Kohoutek' which, as we know from the REM song, passed off without incident.
LP £16.49 DC601
Reissue LP on Drag City.
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- Kohoutek by Father Yod and the Spirit of 76
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Once upon a time there was a comet that flew through the sky and was mistaken, by some, for some sort of pure, angelic manifestation of God. That time was the 1970s (never heard of it) and one of those people was Father Yod, who is kind of the avant-garde equivalent of Scully from the X-Files -- he wants to believe. It’s just a lucky coincidence that along with his intense spiritualism he was a krautrock genius who had weird, experimental compositional skills to channel his unbelievable but divine conspiracy theories through. ‘Kohutek’, an album long tribute to the comet as a “projection from the mind of God”, is full of randomly assorted sounds: thrilling piano ballads that move urgently, Hendrix-esque guitar solos as channelled through the blues of Beefheart, and the booming preacherman voice of Yod himself.
Father Yod’s cultish tendencies were explained in great depth through his music, his lyrics almost entirely expositional in style, never flowing quite right and always bleeding over the edges of the page -- his long, lethargically wailed narratives barely felt like they belonged to his songs at all. That makes the occasional groove that ‘Kohoutek’ settles into quite glorious -- his wails are tempered by rhythmic, intuitive guitar and the backing vocals provided by his choir, who attempt to bring him back from the periphery and into focus. Listening to ‘Kohoutek’ is kind of like witnessing a creative struggle in the best way -- you can feel Yod’s energy, and his wish to impart his knowledge to his listeners (kind of like Exuma in his early days), but that energy is responsible for creating this mismatched record of impossible knots. It’s a fun bit of nonsense, though: to quote Marnie Stern, it’s a pretty good mystery.
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