......................................THE BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH
Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - Logo
. JANUARY 2009
Yak is a project fronted by keyboard player 
Martin Morgan, followed by a incredible and talented musicians, their music is so versatile, beautiful and atmospheric, full of grandiose musical passages, where  structured instrumentation displays a deep Progressive Rock feel, combining elements of  Symphonic Progressive Rock and Hard Rock full of amazing instrumental passages, where the keys are ever present and totally dominating on all compositions and, the guitars are beautiful and refined, sometimes fast and heavy. The instrumental prowess on "Journey Of The Yak"  is top notch, to best describe, the music on this album is pompous and bombastic, with a vintage sound, inspired by great british bands such as "Camel", "Genesis",  "Greenslade", "Caravan",  "Yes", "IQ" and "Marillion". Almost 50min of varied instrumental emotions, a journey through the past present and future of the best Progressive Rock style. You must definitely listen "Entangled in Dreams", "Jadis of Charn", "March of the Huorns" and "Journey of the Yak" and you will find a creative sense of sound and musical texture to create a enjoyable album. Brilliant, fantastic, and amazing work, highly recommendable...

The present line-up of the YAK  are:
Martin Morgan - Keyboards
Dave Speight - Drums
Gary Bennett - Bass


YAK were formed following the collapse of cult band "Acid Fantasy" who toured in & around, but mostly in, Toot Hill village hall in Essex between '78 & '81. Although "The Fantasy" never made it big, never in fact gigging at all, it is interesting to note that following the demolition of the said village hall, a themed housing estate has now been constructed on the site - albeit on a different theme.

The Drummer, John Wynn was determined to move on, and soon got together with old school chum and ex-Blohm und Voss guitarist Robin Hodder. The keyboard player from the "Fantasy" was contacted, & together with bassist Simon Snell from Theydon Bois, the 4 piece took shape.

Playing was initially at the River Way rehearsal studios in Loughton. However after John's mother's neighbours complained, operations were moved to a detached property on York Hill - on the proviso that Robin's parents were out. A few recordings exist of the early rehearsals at York Hill, and these have been carefully archived away for quality reasons. These early recordings are now available to the specialist YAK connoisseur reasonably priced from Ruskin Studios, Northampton although a medical certificate will be required before these can be purchased.

The music was initially a mix of "Rolling Stones" covers, well one anyway, the first few bars of several "Santana" tracks & ruthless jamming mainly in the key of A ...& occasionally D minor. Then the YAK ideas and riffs started to emerge. These were a radical departure from the till then standard time signatures, as musical ideas in 7/8, 5/4 & 3/4  time emerged.  The bands followers, mainly Nigel Astell & Andy Nettleton were enthralled by the new sounds - so much so that they were later moved to relocate respectively to America & Arabia.

Rehearsals were regular, occurring every few weeks in Loughton & even on two occasions in a remote cottage in the depths of the Suffolk countryside - incidentally the cottage has since been re-developed into a housing estate.

Finally in 1984 after about 4 or 5 "YAK" ideas had been practised to some degree the band split after a bitter row over whether it really was necessary - let alone practical - to play in 37/8 time. In protest,  Robin retreated to his college town of Northampton where he lives now. Sy Snell moved to Walthamstow and John disappeared from their contact for many years. Thanks however to the internet and the investigative IT excellence of Mr Snell, John has been re-discovered living on Mars.

During the meanwhilst, Martin Morgan has tried to keep the kept the "YAK" concept alive, and have over the past 20 or so years made a  number of multi-tracked taped recordings of most of the "YAK" musical ideas, with the long term ambition of one day actually finishing them off & releasing them on CD.

Following the release of the 1st album in February 2004, they decided to get back together & have a "jam". Sadly Sy Snell was unable to join them & so they drafted in the services of Max Johnson on Bass. They spent a weekend in Nottingham playing at a rehearsal studio & the session was recorded in Lo-Fi - the highlights of which were released in 2005 as the live album "Does your Yak Bite?"

The following year they had another "Jam" at a remote cottage in Rutland with the same line up. A 2nd live album was released being the highlights of the weekends recording. This one was called "The Rutland Chronicles". Martin Morgan had planned to record another studio album - the same way as Martin Morgan had recorded the 1st album with his doing all the music, and whilst doing this Martin Morgan set the new pieces streaming up on the newly created Yak Myspace page

In the latter half of 2007 Martin Morgan was contacted by a drummer called Dave Speight who had heard the material and wanted to work with hin. Dave was already playing in a number of bands - namely "Harmony in Diversity" which is "Peter Banks' band". Peter was the original guitarist with "Yes".

Dave was also playing for "Whimwise", the band of "Nick May" - Nick was the guitarist with the "Enid" for several of their albums. Finally Dave was also working with "Yesterdays" the Hungarian Progressive Rock Band.
So together with Gary Bennett on Bass (Dave & Gary have worked together for years) they started to record the new album as a three piece.

New Release

"Journey Of The Yak"

01) Gates of Moria
02) Entangled in Dreams
03) Jadis of Charn
04) March of the Huorns
05) Dearly Departed
06) Journey of the Yak

"Journey of the Yak" was recorded between April & October 2008 and Mixed & Mastered in October. The album was released on14th November 2008.

To get in contact or, If you would like any other information, please visit YAK's friend via their Myspace site.

All Yak material is sold to raise money for "Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary" - over £1200 raised so far. The Sanctuary is run by Fiona Oakes who looks after over 400 rescues on her own. Fiona is also an elite marathon runner coming 22nd in London in 2006 and 17th in Berlin. Check her site out at "Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary".

For more information and every thing about the band, please visit YAK HOME PAGEN
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