With a sound and aesthetic that combine Japanese and Chinese musical theater, Asian pop, performance art, anime, and fuzzed-out psychedelia, self-styled "Noh-wave" band Yamantaka//Sonic Titan are an experimental music and performance collective based out of Montreal and Toronto.
Multi-instrumentalists Alaska B and Ruby Kato Attwood first came together in 2007 with the idea of fusing their Asian-Canadian heritage into their music. They put their musical and visual skills to work, performing mini-operas with elaborate papercraft sets around Montreal. The band would eventually begin to operate as a collective, bringing together musicians as well as artists, costume designers, and videographers to aid in their constant fusion of visual and sonic mediums. In 2011, the band delivered its first studio album, YT//ST, which was released on Canadian label Psychic Handshake Recordings. Exploring nautical themes and the Chinese goddess Mazu, their sophomore effort, UZU, arrived in 2013 and became their second album to be shortlisted for a Polaris Music Prize. After collaborating with Pantayo on the score for the Severed video game, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan returned with their third album, DIRT, which arrived in 2018. Inspired by Buddhism, the Haudenosaunee Native American confederacy, and anime, the album featured singer Joanna Delos Reyes, guitarist Hiroki Tanaka, and bassist Brandon Lim. ~ Gregory Heaney & Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi