Hillside reviews: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan at Guelph Lake Conservation Area- Island Stage – July 27, 2013

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan performs new material at Hillside Festival

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan performed a new, unidentified song at Hillside Festival in Guelph, Ont. July 27. Photo: Tom Beedham

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan performed a new, unidentified song at Hillside Festival in Guelph, Ont. July 27. Photo: Tom Beedham

Apparently having left the black and white dragon puppet they memorably snaked through the crowd at their last appearance in Guelph and other recent performances, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan’s roughly 40-minute Hillside set was less about the theatrics the art collective has been given attention for and more about the music.

The group nodded at Noh and kabuki theatre with their characteristic face paint and lead singer Ruby Kato Attwood’s fan dancing, but that wasn’t all stuff the audience took in as the group played through its set, only breaking to introduce songs or express gratitude.

Having released their self-titled debut LP in 2011, the group has otherwise only released a single, “Lamia,” via the 2012 edition of the Adult Swim Singles Program, but YT//ST still managed to go beyond providing performances of the aforementioned single and YT//ST staples like “Hoshi Neko,” “Queens,” and “Reverse Crystal Murder of a Spider” when they gave their performance at the Island Stage.

Sure, all of those songs made it into the mix, but the group also served up a cover of Japanese super-group PYG’s “Hana Taiyo Ame,” and piqued interests with a new, unidentified song featuring lead vocals from YT//ST regular Ange Loft. Referring to the group’s honorific as a character, Loft sang of “Yama looking back at me” on the track, which boasted heavier, more metal-leaning instrumentals than other songs the group featured on their debut.

Pair the output of that performance with the group’s announcement of a signing with Suicide Squeeze in April, and perhaps we can anticipate some new recorded material from this group in the near future.

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan also performed a special collaborative workshop with AroarA on the Sun Stage at Hillside Festival.

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan’s Alaska B. and Ruby Kato Attwood talk “cerebral cougars,” video games
Concert review: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan at Guelph’s eBar Jan. 17, 2013

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About Tom Beedham

Tom Beedham is a Canadian writer and photographer based in Toronto, Ontario. His work focuses on independent culture, DIY communities, and their relationship to the mainstream, reporting on a spectrum of creatives that has ranged from emerging acts to the definitive voices of cultural movements. In addition to contributing regular features to AUX, Chart Attack, and VICE publications Noisey and THUMP, he has appeared on Daily VICE, and frequently reviews concerts, festivals, and new album releases for Canadian arts and culture monthly Exclaim!. He is also a co-organizer and curator of the seasonal inter-arts series Long Winter, for which he oversees an online blog and print newspaper-style publication, printed for distribution at each instalment of the event. He was also a DIY concert organizer in his hometown Georgetown, Ontario in the mid-2000s.

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