03/26/12 - 04/02/12 - Westcoast Tour w/ Purple Pilgrims and LA Lakers. Check the Emerald Cocoon Blog for show dates and location
Zaimph & yek koo
L'interieur De La Vue, CS [Obsolete Units]
"A studious and strange meeting of two renowned minds of experimental sound, L'interieur De La Vue is a thrillingly unforeseen detour into minimalistic spontaneity from acclaimed and prolific NYC musician Marcia Bassett (Zaimph, Double Leopards, Hototogisu, GHQ) and celebrated Los Angeles cacophonous-psych-explorer Helga Fassonaki (Yek Koo, Metal Rouge). Unlike the constant ethereal burn on Bassett's guitar/synth drone works or Fassonaki's overpowering and staggering reinvention of otherworldly experimental rock, the two performances here present a startlingly spacious platform for more patient, contemplative restraints. Bassett's electronics ebb into harmonious intertwinement with Fassonaki's deconstructed trumpet inspection, the flow of both these paradoxically serene and scraping tonalities finding a sturdy synergistic ground. Those immersed in the works of Idea Fire Company, Greg Kelley, and AMM should take notice. Edition of 100." - Obsolete Units
Yek koo returns with primal minimal maximalism – vocal deconstructions rapping inside raw distortions of emotive gut. All of us are beacons in the void called Desolation Peak, where Kerouac once sat listening to "laconic crackling voices" coming through the radio as the only human sound, bouncing back and forth against the peak of negative space, like the human form with its layers of noise stark against the silence of nature. Intimately confrontational, Desolation Peak owes more to east African ritual chants than it does contemporary guitar modes. Illuminated by the same electricity as A Handful Of Dust or Heather Leigh Murray and like Jandek's best work or Gate's 'Metric' it is a moment of humanity clawed back from an inhuman world by sheer indomitable outsider will. Vocals multiply & fall back into themselves, guitars bloom like flowers of grit, spells are chanted, the guitar wielded like a weapon, worn like a medallion, until the whole record collapses on itself into a slab of groaning gleaming feedback.
Expertly harnessed by Justin Pizzoferrato at Sonelab, MA in 2013. Mastered by Mark Alan Miller. Cover Art by Helga Fassonaki...Edition of 259 on 45rpm quality Czech vinyl.
Available at Emerald Cocoon.
Love Song for the Dead C, LP [Emerald Cocoon]
Released to coincide with her installation at Human Resources Gallery in Los Angeles as the first part of her musical hagiographies series (more info on that project here) 'Love Song For The Dead C' is a procession of drunkenly stumbling conceptual experiments. Between its humble paste-on sleeves swarms a double LPs worth of ideas crammed into a single LP, tumbling over each other in strange shapes. Bookended by two renditions of a Persian love song (one sung in Farsi, one in English) that trade in the same echoing confusion as her recent Alone Together 7", 'Love Song For The Dead C' belongs to the tradition of the great outsider sides of the early 90's (Twin Infinitives, Market Square, Harsh 70's Reality) more than it does to anything of this desperately conformist epoch. Like those records it has a purity of form resulting from an individual working to tie the knots of the past into the shape of a personal present, outside of scene or market concerns. In 'Bye Bye Blackbird' dissonant chiming slowly unfurls into a vast chasm of sound over a mesmeric nine minutes. A disorienting or disoriented guitar wafts through a wah-ed swirl of delay and distant Dead C samples in 'Rose The Provider'. 'The Top Is The Bottom' is a harrowing slow-motion crawl through alleys and sewers of room tone as captured by the tunnel-vision fidelity of the trademark Yek Koo dictaphone. This is living, breathing, human music – no ringtones, no product placement – just heart, tears and breath, easy and free.
Edition of 288, with handmade bootleg style paste-on covers. Mastered by Sean McCann.
Available at Emerald Cocoon.
Click here to listen to Soltane Ghalbam (king of my heart)
"Helga Fassonaki (of Metal Rouge) returns as Yek Koo with her first new release since last years 'I Saw Myself' on Stunned Records. Gone are the horizontal string-sprawl epics of past, replaced by a new density and compositional focus. Dictaphone guitar-swirl and declamatory vocal preaching atop loping nod-out rhythm samples, you could almost say Yek Koo has gone pop….until the b-side hits: a sheet of live industrial slamming recorded at LA's now defunct spiritual hub, the Echo Curio, that sounds like a realtime channelling of Kali. As hard to pin down as ever, the closest point of comparison would be the Morley/Russell split 7" lathe on Corpus Hermeticum left to percolate in the merciless Californian sun And even that sounds nothing like it. Confusing, enticing, nuanced and brutal. Part 3 of the 'Alone Together' series". - EC Mastered by Pete Swanson. Edition of 300. Available at Emerald Cocoon.
Still Single Vol. 7, No. 8 - October 27, 2011 With its layers of fx-laden guitar and urgent/eerie singing, "Oh Woman" sounds like it was made at the tail end of a serious Dome binge. That's no bad thing. "Flame Creation" was recorded live, although the profusion of sounds at play — clattering percussion loop, inchoate utterances bouncing off the walls, and what sounds like a guitar trying to knock them down — suggests that a fair bit of pre-game prepared was involved. Gothic in the best possible sense, which means that it's bleak and spooky but doesn't feel like the make-up's more important than the music. - Bill Meyer
2011 I Saw Myself, CDr/Book Reissue [no label]
CDr reissue of I Saw Myself, innitialy released on Stunned Records (c27). This run is a special edition of five - each comes with a slightly altered Life Nature book.
Click HERE to listen to tracks from 'I Saw Myself'
2010 I Saw Myself, C27 [Stunned Records]
"A lone voice etches straight to dictaphone the vibrations which have been petrified far too long in mere stone & silicone. Identity awoken in a night of raw fidelity, this oracle's expression inhabits trance tones and punk-chant poesis. Gouge out your eye and trade it in for better ears, because Helga Fassonaki's solo project Yek Koo is back after a nearly two-year hiatus. Quite a spirited fever has accumulated since this half of LA's Metal Rouge performed her 'Psychic Atonement for Land Deaths' on Digitalis. 'I Saw Myself' shatters any restricting Mirror of our species with Yek Koo's dynamically expanded vocal range and we are left freed, finding peace among the shards and surrender in the pieces. Special hand numbered edition of 111 pro-dubbed & imprinted c27 tapes with double-sided die cut color jcard and insert." - Stunned Records
Click HERE to listen to tracks from 'I Saw Myself'
2009 VARIOUS - S3D (ear&eye): LIVE at Galatos / AK07 DVD, CD & BOOKLET [Atoll]
"Based on a live event at the Auckland Festival AK07, this release captures in sound and vision impressive moments from a unque international collaboration between 12 sound artists. S3D (ear & eye) celebrates the magic of the new. An international collaboration, twelve experimental instrument builders & improvisers in an inspirational world-first. Two hour DVD & 80 minute CD distilled from three days of performance." -atoll
s3d artists include: Ernie Althoff, Phil Dadson, Empirical, Bart Hopkin, Walter Kitundu, Graeme Leak, James McCarthy, Sam Morrison, Tom Nunn, Akio Suzuki, Yek koo, Adam Willetts
Psychic Atonement for Land Deaths, CDr [Digitalis]
"Music is prayer, this much we know. All music of any worth is religious in one of two senses: devotional or shamanistic. Devotional being from inside out (offering), shamanistic being from the outside in (channeling). This album is the marriage of both. Pedal steel, vocals and synthesizer channel an earth rent by human migrations. An earth scarred by sentience and culture uses both sentience and culture to voice its distress - this is shamanism. The shaman prepares an album. Using the dual vehicles of sentience and culture, a libation is prepared, prayer spills out of the speakers of the few, seeking the many…. Using the sword to cure the wound. This is the offering. Who are we but strands in the tapestry of stars? To appreciate this savage irony is the best we can do, is all we can offer. This is psychic atonement for land deaths." - Andrew Scott
A Plea For A Night Desert Blue Moon Storm, CDr [Seymour Records]
Yek Koo 'A Plea For A Night Desert Blue Moon Storm' – Santur, Setar, vocals, computer and tape machine set free in the valleys and canyons of suburban Los Angeles.
This is a CD of automatic devotional streams like curtains of rain. This is a CD of stringed gamelan rituals punked onto suburban night skies. There is a rush of suspension, that moment, the stage-diver propelled out above the crowd conscious only of impulse and impact.
Imagine if the sensation of acceleration could be slowed to a crawl. Imagine the locus of will and movement (cf. Charlemagne Palestine, the thin weave of Argon-era Skullflower). There is a surface that breaks upon the impact of will and duration, untether yourself, beneath this river you will hear an absent orchestra, strings rubbed raw by computers, one mountain beset by heavy rains.
Living electricity has its own history which Yek Koo is breathing into the Santur and Setar. It is the animating power made manifest. It spreads in concentric waves, freeing electrons in its path. Again, untether yourself – we are but simple engineers, pressing buttons, turning keys, undoing locks - to be lost, to be pulled in and under by the current of ritual overtones – this is where the true spirit begins. - Andrew Scott
5 field recordings, recorded onto home-made audio loopers. then performed and mixed live with the addition of two digital effects pedals.
the recordings include the following:
-greg's alienized voice message (4-3-07)
-lou reed bootleg concert, originally recorded on dictaphone in 2002 venice, italy (5-9-07)
-boiling jug (4-18-07)
-radio recording of a religious fanatic preaching about "spiritual dedication" (5-9-07)